It's becoming increasingly likely that Jimmy Garoppolo will be returning as the 49ers' starting quarterback for the 2021 NFL season, but that hasn't stopped the speculation around the organization potentially looking to make an upgrade at the position this offseason.
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter joined KNBR's "Murph & Mac" show on Friday, and went through a number of potential quarterbacks who could be on the move before next season. Dak Prescott, who the Dallas Cowboys haven't been able to come to terms with on a long-term contract extension for several years now, was a name Schefter believes could be a fit for the 49ers.
“They could franchise him at $37.1 million, in a year where the cap is down,” Schefter said. “And after, he can walk. They’ll try to sign him to a long-term deal, but they’ve been trying to do that now for the better part of two years and nothing’s been done. So what if, what if you’re a team like the Niners, any other team out there that has a need for a quarterback, and you make a run at Dak Prescott.
“Again, is it a long shot? Yes, it is a long shot. Absolutely. Is he a free agent? Yes he is. Is there the recipe for something to try to make happen? Well, there’s a path there of some sort.”
Prescott was off to a scorching-hot start in 2020, averaging 371.2 passing yards with nine touchdowns through five games before a gruesome compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle forced him to miss the remainder of the season.
The 27-year-old has thrown for 17,634 yards over 69 career NFL games, leading the Cowboys to winning seasons in three of his four full years under center, with the lone exception being an 8-8 finish in 2019.
General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan have re-affirmed the organization's commitment to Garoppolo as the 49ers' quarterback numerous times over the past year, but also have been open about analyzing potential upgrades both on current NFL teams and draft prospects.
Injuries also cut short Garoppolo's season in 2020, as he played in just six games while battling a nagging ankle sprain.
ESPN's Marcus Spears said in December that Prescott should try to get out of Dallas, and mentioned the 49ers as an ideal landing spot.
If Prescott were to come available, a number of teams would be lining up to inquire about his services. Prescott has a rocket arm and has been a mobile QB in the Dallas offense over his first five NFL seasons, rushing for at least 275 yards in each of his four full campaigns.
We'll see whether the Cowboys' reported desire to put the franchise tag on Prescott for the second consecutive season comes to fruition, but if the QB ends up being available, Lynch and the 49ers' front office should at least check in with his representation.