The San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins have agreed to a blockbuster trade involving first round picks. The 49ers will receive the third overall pick (originally of the Houston Texans) in exchange for the 12th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, a third round pick in 2022, and first round picks in 2022 and 2023. It is extremely likely that the 49ers will be selecting a quarterback. The Dolphins then later traded back up with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Though they claim they have no intentions of trading quarterback Jimmy Garappolo, the 49ers are highly incentivized to move the veteran signal-caller. A trade would save $23.6 Million against the salary cap and would recoup at least a small portion of the value they gave up in the deal. The saved salary cap space would allow them to make some much needed moves such as retaining future Hall of Famer cornerback Richard Sherman. San Francisco would also have more long-term flexibility to extend standout linebacker Fred Warner.
With today being BYU quarterback Zach Wilson’s pro day in Provo, the spotlight now illuminates on the New York Jets. After Jacksonville inevitably selects Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, the Jets will have their pick of Wilson, Ohio State star Justin Fields, and North Dakota State’s physically gifted quarterback, Trey Lance. San Francisco is clearly content with any of those three, otherwise they would have made the trade on draft night.
What this means for the 49ers
The 49ers are clearly moving on at the quarterback position…at some point. The front office has stood with Jimmy Garoppolo for some time, and clearly values his trip to the Super Bowl. The trade gives San Francisco the ability to either deal the former second rounder or let him play out the 2021 season as a bridge and then move him in 2022, which would save $27 Million in salary cap room. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan evidently wants a quarterback with a higher ceiling.
What this means for the Dolphins
The Dolphins traded the 12th pick, a 2022 first rounder (via the Dolphins), and the 123rd pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for the sixth pick and pick 156. The Dolphins can now target likely the same player they were targeting at three, but at better value. The Dolphins were always likely to draft a wide receiver. Now they can do it and recoup some assets in exchange. The Dolphins appear committed to improving their offense and clearly have “their guy” in mind.
What this means for Jimmy Garoppolo
It is likely that Garoppolo will get to compete for the starting job with the rookie quarterback. It is also extremely likely that he remains on the roster for the 2021 season. Kyle Shanahan has yet to have a highly drafted rookie quarterback and his team is ready to compete, meaning he may play it conservative with when he plays his rookie.