Whether it be the starter or the backup, the 49ers need better play and depth from the quarterback room as a whole. Though general manager John Lynch continues to put his trust in Jimmy Garoppolo, he knows Garoppolo's injury history and how far the 49ers have fallen with Jimmy G off the field.
Enter, the latest 49ers quarterback rumor.
The Athletic's Joseph Person reported Monday morning the 49ers are among the teams that have called the Carolina Panthers to gauge their interest in trading QB Teddy Bridgewater. The Panthers have been rumored to be involved in Deshaun Watson trade talks and could look to take a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft with the No. 8 overall pick.
Bridgewater, 28, completed 69.1 percent of his pass attempts last season for 3,733 yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 15 games. That was the most games he has played since he started all 16 for the Minnesota Vikings in 2015 and made the Pro Bowl.
Lynch recently said there's "no doubt" in his mind Garoppolo will be the 49ers' starting quarterback in 2021. He also made it clear the 49ers have to feel better about their chances if Garoppolo isn't on the field. The 49ers have a 24-9 record, including the playoffs, with Garoppolo as their QB since 2017. But he also has missed 23 starts over the past three seasons due to injuries.
“Being available is a big part of this thing,” Lynch said on the “Eye Test for Two” podcast. “So we ... probably as a stated goal ... we have to insulate ourselves better. We got to have better options if he’s not there."
Bridgewater certainly would be a better option than anything they have right now. C.J. Beathard is slated to be a free agent and Nick Mullens is a restricted free agent. Josh Rosen and Josh Johnson are the only 49ers QBs under contract outside of Garoppolo right now.
The 49ers always are interested in gathering information on players and evaluating how other teams view their own players. They appear to be doing the same with Bridgewater and the Panthers. But Bridgewater is scheduled to make $17 million in base salary this season, which could complicate things.
Bringing in Bridgewater could push Garoppolo and keep the 49ers in good position if another injury would occur to their starter. The Panthers won't just give him away, though. But for the right price, this idea makes sense for San Francisco.