The 49ers have repeated their belief in Jimmy Garoppolo as the long-term starter throughout the offseason. General manager John Lynch previously said he has no doubts Garoppolo will start next season but signaled the need for a better backup option.
"So we - probably as a stated goal - we have to insulate ourselves better. We've got to have better options if (Garoppolo's) not there," Lynch said on Feb. 24.
Garoppolo has posted a 22-8 record with the 49ers but has missed 23 contests due to multiple injuries over the last three seasons. The 29-year-old managed to suit up for just six games in 2020.
Meanwhile, the Panthers have reportedly shown interest in upgrading after Bridgewater's lone season with the club. Carolina has been linked to disgruntled quarterback Deshaun Watson and also reportedly offered Bridgewater plus a first-round pick for Matthew Stafford.
Bridgewater compiled a 4-11 record in his first season with the Panthers. He completed 69.1% of his passes and threw 15 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. The 28-year-old holds a $22.9-million cap hit for 2021.