The San Francisco 49ers had the parameters of a trade agreement in place that would have sent Jimmy Garoppolo to the Washington Commanders at this year's NFL scouting combine, but the deal fell apart once the quarterback decided to have shoulder surgery, sources told ESPN.
The deal would have involved multiple draft picks, sources said, but was disrupted by the surgery to Garoppolo's throwing shoulder, which prompted the Commanders to move on from their talks with the Niners and trade two third-round picks and a fourth-round pick to the Indianapolis Colts for Carson Wentz.
The 49ers were fortunate that Garoppolo had the surgery and didn't wind up in Washington. They now need him to replace Trey Lance, who is out for the season after suffering a fractured fibula and ligament disruption -- the same injury that Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota suffered on the same day during the 2016 season. Based on their recovery timelines, Lance is expected to return in time for the 2023 season.
For now, Garoppolo takes over at quarterback for the 49ers, whose players have noticed and commented in recent weeks that the nine-year veteran "has been throwing dimes in practice." Garoppolo and the Niners visit the Denver Broncos on Sunday night.
Garoppolo said this past week that his shoulder has been feeling better and noted that his journey from the trade block to backup to starter has been "pretty crazy."
"Everything happens for a reason," Garoppolo said Thursday. "I'm a big believer in that, and it's just another opportunity."
Garoppolo's presence as the starter also has improved the 49ers' chances of a postseason run, according to sportsbooks. Entering Week 2 with Lance at quarterback, the 49ers were 25-1 to win the Super Bowl, according to Caesars Sportsbook. With Garoppolo as the starter under center entering Week 3, the 49ers are 20-1 at Caesars to win the Super Bowl.
Niners rookie seventh-round pick Brock Purdy has been elevated to backup quarterback while receiving added reps in practice. They have been highly impressed throughout training camp with Purdy, a confident former Iowa State standout who has what one person described as "the it factor."