5 potential trade destinations for Sam Darnold before 2022 camp

(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Sam Darnold
(Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Sam Darnold could join the San Francisco 49ers

It appears unlikely that Jimmy Garoppolo will play another down for the San Francisco 49ers. The team invested heavily in Trey Lance during the 2021 NFL Draft and even though they got to the NFC championship game last season, there might be no better time to throw the North Dakota State product in at the deep end.

Garoppolo is expected to get clearance from offseason surgery on his throwing shoulder in the next fortnight. Something that might put the Carolina Panthers on red alert if Baker Mayfield goes to the Seattle Seahawks.

The former second-round pick is owed $26.95 million on the final year of his deal. It would also leave San Francisco short of a primary backup if they feel confident enough in Lance to let Garoppolo take his chances elsewhere.

Acquiring Sam Darnold as a one-year rental could be a good outcome for all parties. For the Panthers, it gives them a superior opportunity to progress and it allows the Niners to have an experienced No. 2 in the event Lance disappoints or gets hurt.

This seems like a win-win and something the Niners might contemplate with only Nate Sudfeld and Brock Purdy behind Lance. It also gets Darnold closer to home after some troubling years over on the east side of the country.

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