Potentially helping their cause—and certainly lowering the possible price tag, is that the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of the top remaining quarterback suitors, just agreed to terms with former Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills quarterback Mitch Trubisky in free agency.
The Steelers had also been previously linked to Garoppolo—along with the Colts.
While Garoppolo’s price-tag was speculated to be around a 3rd round pick, at least earlier this past weekend, perhaps that pick is now falling a little to the 4th round range—without any other key competitors to drive up the price again.
Also complicating matters for any team acquiring ‘Jimmy G.’ is that he’s now recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and will not be ready until early training camp.
Garoppolo completed 301 of 441 throws (68.3%) for 3,810 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and a passer rating of 98.7 during 15 starts in 2021.
Even though his offensive guru of a head coach Kyle Shanahan certainly helped his production and effectiveness with the 49ers, there are some clear things to like here:
If you're looking at these quarterbacks--purely in a vacuum here, who are you taking for the Colts?— Luke Schultheis (@LuckAtLuke) March 12, 2022
(I know, I know... ) pic.twitter.com/2kF7xK5diG
While not spectacular, the 30 year old quarterback could be a steadying short-term stopgap for the Colts for a year—or a few years, until the team can find its long-term franchise quarterback again (i.e, think Alex Smith before the Kansas City Chiefs found Patrick Mahomes).
Garoppolo is not as athletically gifted as his theoretical Colts’ predecessor Carson Wentz was, but he’d also be an upgrade in the accuracy and leadership departments—with a willingness to take the efficient checkdowns and underneath routes to move the sticks and sustain long scoring drives.
His 49ers teammates by all accounts also loved him in the locker room—and he helped lead them to two NFC Title games in the last 3 years (including a Super Bowl appearance in 2019).
Barring a longshot trade for Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, it appears the Colts starting quarterback competition is a ‘two-horse’ race right now between potentially Garoppolo and free agent Marcus Mariota—who the team has also been recently linked to.