After the Los Angeles Rams defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, it was inevitable that changes were coming in the Bay Area.
The offseason swirled with quarterback trade rumors, with Jimmy Garoppolo’s name being one of the few players likely to be traded. However, after searching for deals, the 49ers found nothing to their liking and decided to bring back Garoppolo for the 2022 season where he’ll serve as Trey Lance’s backup.
Before Garoppolo agreed to a restructured deal, there was a possibility he could’ve been released and that would’ve reportedly opened the door for the Rams to sign him, via Adam Schefter of ESPN:
Had the San Francisco 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo been unable to agree to a restructured contract this summer, the rival Los Angeles Rams were lurking as a possible destination for the veteran quarterback, league sources told ESPN.
Garoppolo and the Rams had the makings of a deal if he was released by the Niners, who were unaware that the defending Super Bowl champions were looking into signing him, according to sources.
Los Angeles has a penchant for operating in secrecy and San Francisco apparently didn’t know they were interested until after coming to terms with Garoppolo:
The 49ers didn’t learn about the Rams’ interest until after they agreed with Garoppolo on a one-year deal worth up to $16 million, sources said.
“It was going to be such a Rams move to make,” a member of the 49ers organization told ESPN. “Sean McVay and Kevin Demoff would have been basking in it.”
The Rams have not been afraid to chase after high-profile names, but bringing in Garoppolo in as a backup to Matthew Stafford would’ve been a luxury versus a necessity. The Rams are set with John Wolford and Bryce Perkins as their backups, though this just reinforces the idea that no one is off the table for them.
With Stafford dealing with elbow tendinitis though, it is not surprising to see the Rams put more focus on the backup quarterback position than years passed.