The 49ers are weeks away from a fascinating offseason, and it all starts with the quarterback position.
Have we seen the last of Jimmy Garoppolo in a 49ers jersey? Does general manager John Lynch have his eyes on a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft? What about trading for a veteran like Matthew Stafford?
ESPN's Bill Barnwell went through a long list of offseason scenarios that can see multiple quarterbacks shuffling throughout the league. One scenario not only would send Garoppolo back to the New England Patriots, it also would shoot the 49ers way up in next year's draft.
Here's Barnwell's proposed trade: The New York Jets trade the No. 2 overall pick and their fourth-round selection to the 49ers for their first- and second-round picks in 2021, first- and third-round picks in 2022 and wide receiver Jalen Hurd. That's a lot to take in.
This, of course, would all start with the both the Jets sticking with Sam Darnold, and the 49ers deciding it's time to move on from Garoppolo. In this case, the 49ers could move off of Garoppolo's contract and find the young franchise quarterback of their choice.
Trevor Lawrence will be the No. 1 pick in the draft. He won't be a future 49er, we know that to be true. But if the 49ers were to trade up to the No. 2 pick, they could have their pick of Zach Wilson or Justin Fields, as well as Trey Lance.
Fields entered the season as the consensus second-best QB in the draft. Some experts even had him competing with Lawrence for the top pick in the draft. The 6-foot-3 Ohio State junior has scored 20 total touchdowns in six games, and has completed 72.6 percent of his pass attempts. But he also has thrown five interceptions and struggled against the two best teams he has faced, Indiana and Northwestern.
Wilson is the QB who has shot up draft boards. The junior dominated UCF in BYU's win in the Boca Raton Bowl with five total touchdowns (three passing, two rushing). Over 12 games this season, Wilson threw for 3,699 yards, 33 touchdowns and just three interceptions. He completed 73.4 percent of his passes, and scored 10 TDs on the ground.
If the 49ers fall in love with Wilson or Fields and feel their best move is to end the Jimmy G era in Santa Clara, trading up in the draft could make plenty of sense. Having a young QB on a rookie deal is the best way to build a contender, and Wilson or Fields in Kyle Shanahan's offense could be a dream come true.