Home Book trading How Panthers Drafting QB Matt Corral Affects 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo Trades

How Panthers Drafting QB Matt Corral Affects 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo Trades

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There has been a lot of speculation about whether or not the Carolina Panthers could be a potential trade destination for 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, but a third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft on Friday night has further complicated matters.

With the 94th overall pick, Carolina selected Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral and added another caller to its depth chart after trading in the third round.

When the Panthers picked North Carolina offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu sixth overall on Thursday, the door to a trade with Garoppolo remained open. But when the team addressed its quarterback situation on Friday, Carolina practically slammed that door.

The Panthers’ selection after Ekwonu was originally slated to be No. 137, but they gave the New England Patriots the pick and a 2023 third round so they could grab one of the quarterbacks still available.

Carolina now has Sam Darnold, PJ Walker and Corral on its roster at the position, and the Day 2 pick has diminished the likelihood that they will be able to pursue a veteran quarterback after the draft.

Before choosing Corral, Carolina was rumored to be negotiating with the Cleveland Browns for Baker Mayfield. But the two teams reportedly couldn’t agree on how to split Mayfield’s $18.8 million in guaranteed money next season, and talks broke down.

The Panthers were – and still could be – one of two teams with a clear need for a quarterback, the other being the Seattle Seahawks. A 49ers trade to rival NFC West is extremely doubtful, so Carolina thought it was the last-ditch landing spot when it comes to dealing Garoppolo.

But with Darnold’s fully guaranteed $18.58 million still on the books and another Corral quarterback now on the roster, San Francisco’s ship for a Garoppolo trade to the Panthers appears to have sailed.

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There’s still a (highly unlikely) chance the Panthers could move Darnold, but the 49ers’ options continue to dwindle as they look for a way to offload Garoppolo’s $25 million in 2022 cap space. The Panthers thought it was San Francisco’s last move to move the quarterback after the draft and before training camp.

Now, it looks like San Francisco will have to wait even longer to find a trade destination for last season’s starter to make way for Trey Lance — if the team is able to move him at all.