We’re no longer at the rumor stage when it comes to a potential trade with Sam Darnold. Albert Breer of the MMQB recently noted that up to eight teams are interested in the New York Jets starting quarterback. This includes the San Francisco 49ers.
From the perspective of the Jets, that makes sense. They boast of the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and will likely be able to recruit some bottom-up talent. Zach Wilson of BYU.
There was even some suggestions that league scouts consider Wilson in higher esteem than Consensus No. 1 prospect Trevor Lawrence. While it might be overstating, Wilson is now considered a generational quarterback talent. New Jets head coach Robert Saleh, former 49ers, may not want to let this go.
As for San Francisco, Breer noted in the same report that this was one of three teams to watch when it comes to a Darnold trade.
“As for the teams to watch, three in particular interest me: Chicago, San Francisco and Washington. Two of the three, Chicago and Washington, were playoff teams in 2020, aren’t within striking distance to draft one of the better guys, and may not think developing a rookie, given where they are at, is the key. better game. San Francisco would be even more fascinating.
Peter King of NBC Sports also noted that the 49ers are his favorites to land Darnold in a trade. This seems to be a clear indication that there is smoke here.
From a 49ers perspective, it’s an open question whether Darnold would be an upgrade over incumbent Jimmy Garoppolo. They are said to be interested to Deshaun Watson, but it’s a whole different ball game.
What we do know is that Darnold would be a lot cheaper than Garoppolo for the cash-strapped 49ers. Garoppolo, who just wrapped up an injury-ridden 2020 season, is expected to have $ 26.4 million against the 2021 salary cap. San Francisco can save $ 23.6 million by leaving him. Meanwhile, a Sam Darnold trade would only count $ 5 million against the cap.
What could a business of this ilk look like? We offer three scenarios below.