Jimmy Garoppolo is playing some spledid football and has his San Francisco 49ers as one of the hottest teams in the NFL heading into the stretch run.

That wasn’t always the case. Earlier this season, people were calling for San Francisco to bench Garoppolo in favor of rookie No. 3 pick Trey Lance. That now seems like a distant memory.

Even then, it remains highly unlikely that Garoppolo will return to the 49ers for the 2022 season. They exhausted three first-round picks and a third rounder to nab Lance in the 2021 NFL Draft. Short of a Super Bowl run, he will likely be calling another NFL city home next season. Here, we look at four ideal trade scenarios.

Jimmy Garoppolo trade to the Houston Texans

  • Texans get: Jimmy Garoppolo
  • 49ers get: Second-round pick, future conditional mid-round pick

Rookie third-round pick Davis Mills has played well at times this season. However, there’s no telling whether he’s a long-term solution for general manager Nick Caserio. What we do know is that Houston will be forced to trade franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson during the off-season should the civil cases he’s facing stemming from sexual misconduct allegations be settled in his favor. If not, Watson is unlikely to play in the NFL again.

Jimmy Garoppolo stats (2021): 67.4% completion, 3,172 yards, 21 total TD, 8 INT, 100.7 rating

Garoppolo has a built-in relationship with Nick Caserio dating back to their days with the New England Patriots. In fact, he joined a front office that initially pushed back against dealing the quarterback to San Francisco during the 2017 season. Acquiring the veteran at the cost of a second-round pick and change would be a coup for a rebuilding Texans squad.