Jimmy Garoppolo came close to being the Washington Commanders’ quarterback, according to an ESPN report Sunday morning.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the San Francisco 49ers had worked out parameters for a trade with Washington at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine. However, Garoppolo decided to have shoulder surgery, leading to the trade falling through.
The deal would have included multiple draft picks, according to Schefter. Instead, the Commanders pivoted and acquired Carson Wentz from the Indianapolis Colts.
Schefter confirmed an earlier ESPN report that the 49ers thought they had a deal with the Commanders. Coincidentally, Schefter’s report surfaced on the same day Wentz played one of his two former teams, the Philadelphia Eagles, who drafted the QB No. 2 overall in 2016.
Wentz was sacked nine times by the Eagles’ defense en route to a 24-8 blowout loss for Washington.
After the game, Commanders head coach Ron Rivera was not happy about the report.
“That was a bullcrap report, okay? Just so that everybody understands it,” Rivera said, per 106.7 the Fan. “I didn’t talk to anybody about that. I’m not sure where that all came from. I’m disappointed that came out like that, especially in today’s game. I really am. Because I didn’t talk to anybody about Jimmy Garoppolo.”
The Commanders do have a general manager, Martin Mayhew. However, Rivera has been at the top of the football operations for the team since he became head coach in January 2020. Washington has a ‘coach-centric’ approach. Therefore, Rivera would have been in on any roster personnel moves.
According to JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington, the Commanders indeed checked on Garoppolo’s status with the 49ers. But the team was aware of the shoulder issue. Wentz was higher on the team’s list.
The timing of Schefter’s report upset Rivera the most.
“Just, we’re getting ready to play Philadelphia. Really? Come on,” Rivera said. “That’s what I’m disappointed in. I really am. Because again, whatever it is for whatever reason, the report’s got to get… Does it really have to get out? Or could it have waited until after we finished our game, then get it out? So, I’m just disappointed it got out.”
Wentz had his worst performance as a Commander to date. He completed 25-of-43 passes for a pedestrian 211 yards and failed to throw for a touchdown for the first time this season.
Meanwhile, San Francisco is happy with how the situation played out. Teams backed off Garoppolo, forcing the 49ers to rework his deal and kept him on as a backup. Starting quarterback Trey Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury, and Garoppolo once again became the 49ers’ starting quarterback.