Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Bleacher Report predicts this trade involving 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Jul 16, 2021 at 10:26 AM--

Maurice Moton, a featured columnist and fantasy football analyst for Bleacher Report, recently made nine "bold predictions" for the 2021 season. Among them was trying to predict the fate of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Garoppolo will enter training camp atop the 49ers' quarterback depth chart. However, behind him is the No. 3 overall pick, Trey Lance. Lance is the future. Garoppolo is the present. At least, that is the impression that the team's decision-makers have been presenting all offseason.

The plan is to have Garoppolo start Week 1 against the Detroit Lions and potentially beyond, allowing Lance all the time he needs to sit and absorb head coach Kyle Shanahan's playbook. But what if Lance proves to be a quick study? What if he shows a solid grasp of the offense during training camp? What if Lance shows that he is ready to step onto the football field and face opposing NFL defenses?

Or maybe Garoppolo proves to be the better quarterback right now, and the debate doesn't present itself until the season is well underway.

With either scenario, the 49ers might eventually have a dilemma on their hands. Of course, no one would scoff at having two starting-caliber quarterbacks on his roster. The problem is that Garoppolo is set to earn $26.4 million this season, per That's a lot of money for a player potentially on the cusp of being replaced.

By comparison, Lance will carry a salary-cap figure of $6.2 million in 2021.

That's where Moton's prediction comes in. Assuming Lance is ready, he feels that Shanahan should go with his rookie sooner rather than later. Moton also notes that Garoppolo has missed 23 games over the last three seasons, and freeing up his salary would allow the team to pursue other roster upgrades (or maybe extend some of its young stars?)

"Given the questions about the 29-year-old's durability, the 49ers should look to move off his expensive contract and see what they have in Lance, the third overall pick in this year's draft," wrote Moton.

"Unless the 49ers get out to a commanding lead in the tough NFC West, general manager John Lynch should call playoff-caliber teams that may have interest in acquiring Garoppolo as their potential long-term starter."

What team does Moton predict as a potential landing spot for Garoppolo? It's not one we've heard a lot about when discussing potential trade partners.

"The Washington Football Team could replace Ryan Fitzpatrick, who turns 39 years old in November, with Garoppolo," wrote Moton. "They may not have a draft pick high enough to select a top prospect at the position in 2022.

"The 49ers could dump a big contract, take a look at their potential quarterback of the future and receive compensation in return for a player who isn't in their long-term plans. Meanwhile, the WFT would have a competent signal-caller who can help them win a wide-open division and remain a starter beyond 2021."

Of course, it's possible that Garoppolo comes out, stays healthy, and has the best season of his career, keeping Lance on the sidelines longer than most predict. Again, that would be a nice situation for Shanahan. Not only would he potentially have two quality quarterbacks, but Garoppolo's trade value would climb.

What do you think about Moton's prediction? Do you feel Garoppolo will remain healthy in 2021 and hold off Lance taking his job? Leave a comment below.

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