We have hit a bit of a lull when it comes to the quarterback carousel this offseason, but that was to be expected. There are still so many unknowns that could affect how teams go about acquiring a new signal-caller, such as the cap not being set, the upcoming NFL Draft and then of course Deshaun Watson's peculiar situation. Teams are still poking around, however, and on Monday, Joe Person of The Athletic reported that the San Francisco 49ers have called the Carolina Panthers about Teddy Bridgewater.
We don't have much information about how deep these potential trade talks got, but this is still a very interesting development. Just last week, 49ers general manager John Lynch said that there was no doubt Jimmy Garoppolo would be his quarterback in 2021, but this recent report would indicate there is some doubt to be had. Garoppolo had a career year in 2019, as he passed for 3,978 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions while the 49ers went 13-3 and made it all the way to Super Bowl LIV. This past season, however, Garoppolo went 3-3 in his six starts and threw for just 1,096 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions. In all, Garoppolo has missed 23 games over the past three seasons due to injury, so the 49ers are at least poking around to see if there is a veteran they can bring in to back up Garoppolo should he struggle to stay healthy again.
As for Bridgewater's future, it appears it's not in Carolina. Last offseason, the Panthers inked the former New Orleans Saints quarterback to a three-year deal. His play in 2020 left much to be desired, however, as he threw for 3,733 yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while going 4-11 as the starter. He was reportedly involved in offers the Panthers made to the Detroit Lions for Matthew Stafford, and it's been well-reported how interested Carolina is in potentially acquiring Watson from the Houston Texans.
While Bridgewater will likely be playing football elsewhere in 2021, Carolina is probably not in a rush to deal him away. The Texans have yet to admit Watson is available via trade and we still have the 2021 NFL Draft to work through. In Ryan Wilson's latest mock draft, he has the Panthers taking North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance with the No. 8 overall pick. Drafting and rolling with a new quarterback in 2021 is something Panthers head coach Matt Rhule has addressed before, but it's not a given.