LANDOVER — The Washington Commanders traded for Carson Wentz in March, but they almost landed a different quarterback instead.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday that the Commanders were close to finalizing a deal with the San Francisco 49ers to acquire Jimmy Garoppolo earlier in the offseason, but the signal-caller elected to undergo shoulder surgery — causing Washington to back out of the trade.
The network added the swap would have involved “multiple draft picks.” In March, the Commanders sent two third-rounders — one of which can become a second — and a swap of seconds with the Indianapolis Colts to acquire Wentz.
That Washington explored other quarterbacks before targeting Wentz isn’t surprising. It was known, for instance, the Commanders aggressively pursued Russell Wilson — offering three first-round picks and players — before the Seahawks traded the multi-time Pro Bowler to Denver. Seattle rejected the deal.
“Yeah, we did chase a couple of other quarterbacks,” coach Ron Rivera told The Washington Times in August. “But we also chased Carson. We did it for a reason. I mean, again, go back — look at the quarterback ratings coming out of the season and he was up there. There’s no reason to not want to chase that guy. There’s no reason to (not) feel comfortable when you get a guy with those kinds of numbers. I’d love to have the kinds of numbers he had this year, especially with the guys we have.”
The report came hours before Wentz faced his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles, for the first time. The 49ers ended up not trading Garoppolo, who is now San Francisco’s starter again after Trey Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury last week.