How NFL QB trade market is developing, could affect 49ers


As the 2020-21 NFL season comes to a close, we're heading into an unprecedented offseason.

There could be a crazy amount of quarterbacks on the move, even after the Detroit Lions reportedly traded Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for Jared Goff. Expect QBs changing teams to continue this offseason. 

The 49ers seem confident that Jimmy Garoppolo will be their starting quarterback in 2021, but they haven't slammed the door shut on trade rumors. Here's the latest on QB market, and how it could affect San Francisco's offseason plans.

Dak Prescott

NFL Media's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported Sunday morning that the Dallas Cowboys will "make a push" to sign Prescott to a long-term contract before the March 9 deadline for applying the franchise tag. If the two sides can't come to an agreement, the Cowboys would give the star QB the franchise tag for a second time. 

That would cost Dallas about $37.7 million. 

On Friday, ESPN's Adam Schefter joined KNBR's "Murph & Mac" show and discussed the 49ers possibly making a run at Prescott. 

“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.”

It appears Prescott likely will be back in Dallas, not the Bay Area.

Deshaun Watson 

Rapoport and Pelissero also reported Sunday morning that the Houston Texans continue to insist they will not trade star QB Deshaun Watson.

Watson still hasn't communicated with new general manager Nick Caserio or new head coach David Culley, even after Culley reached out after his hiring. The disgruntled quarterback has made it abundantly clear he wants out of Houston. But will the Texans oblige? 

It's understandable why 49ers fans would have dreams of Watson coming to Levi's Stadium, but that continues to be a huge long shot right now.

Sam Darnold

Former 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh now is the man in charge of the New York Jets, and he has a big decision to make regarding his quarterback. 

Saleh has said all the right things regarding Sam Darnold. But the Jets also hold the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Should Saleh and the Jets stick with Darnold or is it time to move on? 

Schefter reported Sunday morning that multiple teams have reached out about a possible trade for Darnold, and the Jets aren't turning the calls away while still deciding on the future of their QB. No specific teams were listed in Schefter's report, but it could make sense why the 49ers would give the Jets a call. 

Darnold might not be seen as a big upgrade over Garoppolo right now, but he is six years younger than the 49ers' current QB and still on a rookie deal. Darnold, the No. 3 pick in the 2018 draft, played 12 games this season and threw nine TDs. He also completed just 59.6 percent of his passes and was intercepted 11 times. 

Through his first three seasons in the NFL, Darnold has thrown for 8,097 yards, 45 touchdowns, 39 interceptions and has completed only 59.8 percent of his passes. When the 49ers beat the Jets in Week 2 this season, Darnold threw for 179 yards yards and one touchdown while completing 65.6 percent of his passes. 

Darnold could badly need a change of scenery right now. He also likely wouldn't cost an arm and a leg in trade talks, and perhaps Kyle Shanahan believes he could get Darnold back on the right track.

RELATED: 49ers GM Lynch admits passing on Mahomes still 'haunts' him

Carson Wentz

It looks like the Philadelphia Eagles are handing the keys to Jalen Hurts.

Schefter reported Saturday that the Eagles are expected to trade Wentz in the coming days. Sources told Schefter that the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts are two teams that have expressed interest in Wentz. That should be good news to 49ers fans. 


While Wentz, 28, looked like a future NFL MVP in 2017, he has been on a steady decline since and stats show his one great season was more or less an anomaly. The Eagles reportedly want a Stafford-style trade package for Wentz. The 49ers should steer clear of that.

Download and subscribe to the 49ers Talk Podcast