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The 49ers are at a crucial point. They are entering an offseason in which they are destined to lose free agents they expected to be able to re-sign, because they didn’t exactly plan for a global pandemic to crush the NFL’s salary cap.
They can try and replace those players with patchwork fix or high-upside, high-risk swings in the draft and free agency, or, they can replace their average quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo, who has missed the majority of the last three seasons.
John Middlekauff joined the Tolbert, Krueger and Brooks show on Thursday and suggested the team trade for the Detroit Lions’ Matthew Stafford. He used Jared Goff as an example; he might not actually be a “good” quarterback, but for the most part, he’s been healthy and because of that, “they can function.”
He said he has enough faith in Kyle Shanahan and being able to figure out the depth on defense to bet on them with even an average quarterback. If Garoppolo played 16 games, Middlekauff said they would have been a playoff team (only needed to get to 8-8 or 9-7).
“Now, what are my options? I would trade pick 12 for Matt Stafford,” Middlekauff said.I “t’s easy to say that, but they’ve got their coach talking about chewing people’s knees off so we’ll see when him and Matt eventually get on the phone together. But I think it’s fair to say that at this point in time, it’s just time for a change there. It’d be an easy one, getting pick well 12 for Matt Stafford would be a pretty good deal. And then you could trade Jimmy and basically just transfer the money to Matt Stafford, a guy that, until the end of last season, has been very very durable, his entire career.”
Another option Middlekauff suggested was Sam Darnold. Drafting a rookie quarterback almost certainly means Garoppolo stays, because making the bet on a rookie on a ready-to-win team is just not viable.
“My goal would be to get Matt Stafford,” Middlekauff said.