The San Francisco 49ers are on an active three-game winning streak that has miraculously flipped what once appeared to be a disappointing campaign on its head. San Francisco's offense has especially been firing on all cylinders, scoring 30-plus points in four of its last five contests. Starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has recaptured his best form as of late, throwing for five touchdowns versus just one interception throughout San Francisco's latest string of victories.
Lurking in the shadows of Garoppolo's success are several question marks, as his future continues to hang in the balance. According to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, 49ers general manager John Lynch could look to move Garoppolo via trade this coming offseason, with the plan to anoint rookie quarterback Trey Lance as next year's starter. It's an inevitable conclusion, as the writing was on the wall the moment the 49ers traded up in order to select Lance with the third-overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft.
With Garoppolo playing like a worthy starting quarterback once again, here are three teams that could look to acquire his services for 2022.
NEW YORK GIANTS
The New York Giants are in the midst of experiencing yet another hapless campaign. The 4-7 Giants recently relieved offensive coordinator Jason Garrett of his duties and an abundance of change will follow suit in the offseason. General manager Dave Gettleman's contract is set to expire at the conclusion of the season and he is largely expected to be replaced.
Starting quarterback Daniel Jones continues to do little to convince ownership that he possesses the qualities necessary to serve as the face of their franchise going forward. Jones was hand-selected by Gettleman with the sixth-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, much to the dismay of fans and draft analysts alike. Jones has predictably failed to live up to that billing.
Gettleman's inevitable departure is bad news for Jones' future. The Giants currently own a pair of picks in the top 10 of the 2022 draft, but they should be cautious of overdrafting another quarterback in what appears to be a relatively weak class. Acquiring Garoppolo would provide the low-risk, high-reward scenario they should be chasing this offseason.
The winless Detroit Lions can't possibly move forward with Jared Goff as their starting quarterback in 2022. General manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell gave Goff an opportunity to prove he's worthy of being considered their quarterback of the future. Goff has responded with several abysmal performances. The former No. 1 overall pick is currently averaging just 6.4 yards per passing attempt, which represents a career-low mark since he became a starter. Goff has thrown just 10 touchdowns in 10 games and has failed to lead the Lions to a single victory thus far.
The Lions currently own the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 draft, but the upcoming draft class lacks a high-end quarterback talent. The Lions are more likely to boost their defense or offensive line with that pick, with Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux and Michigan's Aidan Hutchison currently serving as the favorites. The Lions must search for a different solution at quarterback this offseason, one that doesn't include Goff or a top draft pick. Garoppolo would provide an immediate upgrade.
The Panthers recently reunited with Cam Newton, who is playing on a lucrative one-year contract, but the future of Carolina's quarterback position remains very much in question. Newton will continue to be evaluated down the stretch, but Sunday's embarrassing 5-of-21 passing performance that accounted for just 92 yards and two interceptions did little to help his case going forward.
Fellow quarterback Sam Darnold has done nothing to prove he deserves another crack at the job, and although he's unfortunately under contract for 2022, general manager Scott Fitterer will leave any and all options on the table in his never-ending pursuit to upgrade the quarterback position. Carolina's roster boasts several highly-intriguing weapons at the playmaking positions and a defense that is loaded with high-end talent. The offensive line needs work, but the quarterback is largely considered the missing piece of the puzzle. Securing the services of Garoppolo could convert Carolina into a legitimate contender in 2022.