2022 NFL Scouting Combine Buzz: 'A lot of teams' interested in Jimmy Garoppolo trade despite surgery

NFL Network has you covered with wall-to-wall NFL Scouting Combine coverage each day starting at 1 p.m. ET. Follow along here for some of the best sights, sounds and moments from "NFL NOW at the Combine" and around the NFL.

  • San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch didn't see quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's surgery coming, but he also doesn't see it deterring the club's plans moving forward. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that Garoppolo is set for shoulder surgery that will prevent the QB from throwing for 16 weeks. While it's no secret San Francisco is looking to move on from Garoppolo and let 2021 first-round pick Trey Lance take the reins, it's fair to wonder if the team's plans to trade away Jimmy G might've been hindered by the news. Lynch doesn't think so. "We didn't know. And, I don't think Jimmy knew it. I think he made that decision in the last couple of days," Lynch told Good Morning Football's Peter Schrager on Wednesday from the NFL Scouting Combine. "The shoulder, I never like to say minor when somebody's having surgery, but it's a capsule issue in the back of his shoulder, that you try to rehab, but if it doesn't get better with the rehab, then you go to the alternative route and that's what they've decided to do. So, it's gonna take some time, but he's gonna be fine." And, according to the GM, it hasn't negatively impacted chatter with potential Jimmy G suitors. "That situation's active, it's fluid," Lynch said. "You're here, a lot of teams have interest in him."

As for the Niners' QB of the future, Lance played in six games in 2021 with two starts, but those appearances were more than enough to convince Lynch the franchise got the right QB when it traded up for him in the 2021 NFL Draft. "It's pretty obvious, we put a lot into Trey Lance," Lynch said. "We're loving the development of Trey. Trey had an outstanding first year. A lot of people say, 'How can you say this, you know? He barely played.' But the development was tremendous. I think Kyle did a great job of finding ways to develop without playing a ton of football on Sundays.

"I tell people he's everything we thought he was when we traded a lot to go get him -- and more. And, you know, I really believe that."

  • Baker Mayfield is still the man in Cleveland. Asked Wednesday if he has full confidence in Mayfield as his starting quarterback in 2022, Browns coach Kevin Stefanski responded quickly and unequivocally, "Yes. Yes." Mayfield is entering the fifth and final year of his rookie contract, with no extension on the horizon. Complicating his future with the team is that he's coming off a season riddled with injuries and late-season struggles. Stefanski, however, isn't looking past the upcoming campaign, in which he anticipates the former No. 1 overall pick back under center and playing up to his previously set standard. "He knows he wants to play better," Stefanski added. "I know I want to coach better. We're really focused on how we're going to do that now going forward."
  • Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst had no update Monday on the Aaron Rodgers situation, and head coach Matt LaFleur didn't have one Tuesday, either. LaFleur is keeping in contact with Rodgers -- who's weighing retirement, returning to the Packers and seemingly everything in between -- but letting the two-time reigning AP NFL Most Valuable Player have his time, as well. "You always want to be respectful because I know it's a lot to take on," LaFleur said at the combine Wednesday. "He's got a lot to think about. Certainly, I'm making sure I consistently communicate with him, but also want to be respectful of his time and the process that he has to go through." The process -- and the wait -- continues.
  • San Francisco 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel's explosion out of the backfield is sure to lead other clubs to search for facsimile for their offense this offseason. The Pro Bowl receiver netted 77 catches for 1,405 receiving yards and six touchdowns in 2021, but his work as a runner made the 49ers' offense multifaceted and dangerous. Samuel earned 365 rushing yards and eight rushing TDs last season. Down the stretch, he carried the ball at least five times in all eight games down the stretch of the regular season. Clubs might be looking for the next Deebo Samuel, but finding that clone is much easier said than done. Just ask new Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel. "You don't look at it like, 'I need the next Deebo,'" McDaniel said Wednesday from the NFL Scouting Combine. "Deebo wasn't found by looking for Deebo. You look for good football players who are committed, passionate, and maybe that challenges you as a coach to say, 'Hey, what other way can we utilize this skillset?'" McDaniel has a potential Deebo-style difference-maker on his new roster in Jaylen Waddle. Given Waddle's explosive potential on quick passes and speed with the ball in his hands, expect the Dolphins offense to get the ball to the receiver in a multitude of ways in 2022. A Year 2 eruption is on tap for Waddle, even if he's not a Deebo duplicate.
  • With the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine featuring the top prospective talents of tomorrow, Los Angeles Rams offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth is still contemplating his playing future. Fresh off winning Super Bowl LVI with the Rams, Whitworth was on Good Morning Football on Wednesday and said he's yet to make a decision on retirement or returning, but is getting close to one. "I'm staying active, working out, training myself," Whitworth said. "But I don't know yet. I still think it's one of those ... I'm close. It's in the next week or two I'm going to decide what I'm going to do." Whether the four-time Pro Bowler hangs up his cleats or not, though, his future will involve football. "Here's the thing, no matter what, I'm going to be involved in football," Whitworth said before hinting at possibly working in TV. The 40-year-old Whitworth has played 16 NFL seasons -- 11 with the Bengals and the last five with the Rams -- and is the 2021 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.
  • Harold Landry broke out in 2021 and it doesn't sound like Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson is ready to let the Pro Bowl outside linebacker leave Nashville. Following a 12-sack season, Landry is an impending free agent, but the Titans are working toward a long-term deal with a possible franchise tag in the interim. "We've got a little bit of time on the tag decision and then we've got a little bit more time on hopefully a long-term decision," Robinson said Wednesday at the combine. "We continue to work through that. We'll see how it goes." Teams have until March 8 to use a franchise tag on a player and until July 15 to sign tagged players to long-term deals.

Robinson added that there have also been preliminary talks with standout wide receiver A.J. Brown for a contract extension, but there's nothing imminent at this point. "He knows how we feel about him," Robinson said.

  • It's hardly a surprise, but New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas confirmed Wednesday at the scouting combine that the team will be picking up defensive lineman Quinnen Williams's fifth-year rookie option. Williams has started 37 games since the Jets picked him third overall at the 2019 NFL Draft with 136 tackles and 15.5 sacks thus far. He had 53 tackles, six sacks and 12 QB hits in a career-best 15 starts last year.
  • Following a sensational 2021 campaign in Charlotte, outside linebacker Haason Reddick might be one and done with the Carolina Panthers. Carolina general manager Scott Fitterer said he spoke with Reddick's agent this week and anticipates the former Arizona Cardinal testing the market as a free agent. Reddick posted 12.5 sacks in his final season with the Cardinals in 2020 and then meshed outstandingly with the Panthers' formidable front in 2021, tallying 11 sacks to go with 68 tackles and a career-high 18 QB hits. Should Reddick bring down a huge deal in free agency, Fitterer said "they'll be happy for him."

Another high-profile defensive free agent for the Panthers is cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who like Reddick is coming off his first season with the club. Fitterer said talks with the former AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year are "ongoing."

  • After winning Super Bowl LIV, the Los Angeles Rams have several big decisions to make regarding their roster. Two of the seemingly easier ones are constructing new deals for star quarterback Matthew Stafford and All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald. "That's an incredibly high priority," coach Sean McVay said Wednesday. "There's a lot of guys that are important, but I think when you look at those two in particular, those are foundational pieces on each side of the ball." Donald and Stafford are at points in their respective careers where they could wish to eventually retire with L.A. The Rams are the only franchise Donald has known, while Stafford looked rejuvenated in McVay's offense after toiling in Detroit for over a decade. McVay now sees a future that involves both veteran captains working in tandem with the front office to maximize their Super Bowl window. "I think the other thing that's special is that these guys deserve, and will be rewarded accordingly, but I think they also understand, they want to work in coordination to try to help us be as competitive as we can," McVay added. The coach then joked that if Donald and Stafford were looking to leave after winning it all last month, "it might have made me think about it, too."

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