While 49ers general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan have said this offseason that Jimmy Garoppolo will remain their quarterback in 2021, there appears to be one team that is hoping San Francisco changes its mind and makes a move at quarterback.
The New England Patriots, according to The Boston Sports Journal's Greg Bedard, want to reunite with Garoppolo.
"From what I gather from talking to people this week, over the past week, Jimmy Garoppolo still is far and away their Plan A," Bedard said on "The Greg Bedard Patriots Podcast" earlier this week. "That, if they had to draw it up, exactly the optimal situation for the Patriots for this coming season, it's Jimmy G coming back here. And of course, that's all dependent on the 49ers doing something."
Last offseason, the 49ers flirted with the idea of moving on from Garoppolo before running it back with the man that helped them get to Super Bowl LIV. But after an injury-riddled 2020 season, much of the 49ers' fanbase is ready for a new quarterback to step in.
The 49ers were rumored to be linked to Matthew Stafford before he was traded by the Detroit Lions to the Los Angeles Rams for Jared Goff and several draft picks.
Disgruntled Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has been mentioned as a possibility for the 49ers, but as of now, his current team has no plans to trade the 2017 first-round draft pick.
The 49ers could select one of the quarterback prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft, but that might mean giving up future draft picks in order to move up.
ESPN's Todd McShay released his updated Mock Draft and he projects the 49ers will trade up to No. 9 with the Denver Broncos to select Alabama quarterback Mac Jones.
“The Broncos could add something along the lines of an extra second-rounder (No. 43) and perhaps a 2022 first- or second-rounder, in addition to that No. 12 pick this year,” McShay wrote. “It's tough to tell at this point just how eager the Niners will be for a quarterback.”
If the 49ers were able to obtain a top-tier quarterback in the first round of April's draft, they likely would be willing to move on from Garoppolo.
That would be music to the Patriots' ears. After losing franchise icon Tom Brady in free agency last spring, they signed former NFL MVP Cam Newton. That union didn't go as planned and New England finished with a 7-9 record, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
But any chance of Patriots' 2014 second-round draft pick returning to New England this spring rest on the 49ers making an unexpected move for a quarterback. Until that happens, longtime Pats coach Bill Belichick will just have to dream about reuniting with Garoppolo.