Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Peter King explains why 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo is an undesirable trade target

Oct 20, 2021 at 7:08 AM--

The trade deadline always creates speculation across the league. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo landed with the San Francisco 49ers at the trade deadline in 2017. The Niners traded for wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders about a week before the trade deadline in 2019.

The 49ers have two more games before this year's trade deadline. Garoppolo is expected to be the team's starter this weekend against the Indianapolis Colts. Assuming he remains healthy, he will likely be the starter the next weekend against the Chicago Bears.

Fans hoping for San Francisco to deal its veteran quarterback, officially passing the torch to rookie Trey Lance, and recouping some draft capital in the process, might be disappointed. One longtime NFL writer doesn't believe Garoppolo is going anywhere this season.

"Teams are going to avoid Jimmy Garoppolo for a very simple reason," NBC Sports' Peter King told 95.7 The Game's Damon Bruce and Ray Ratto on Tuesday. "He makes a crapload of money, and the salary cap is in purgatory right now. The salary cap is trouble for everybody.

"You saw what happened when Stephon Gilmore went from New England to Carolina, and New England only got a 2023 sixth-round pick in return. You know what that was? It was a salary dump because the Carolina Panthers had the money to cover it. There are not many teams in the NFL that can cover a salary-cap dump like that right now."

King doesn't just feel that Garoppolo's salary makes him an undesirable trade target. He feels the 49ers parting ways with the quarterback would be the wrong move right now. General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan have long committed to Garoppolo as their starter, even after trading a significant amount of draft capital to move up to the No. 3 pick over pick in April's draft, the selection that netted them Lance.

"First of all, I don't think the Niners are going to trade him right now because this is an important year for John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan," King explained. "In my opinion, the way I sort of look at this season for them is they've got to do the right thing at the quarterback position, and they've got to make sure that they're ready to know who their quarterback is.

"But, what has gotten them in trouble two of the last three years, when they've gotten in trouble late in the year, and that is Jimmy Garoppolo has gotten hurt, and they have not had the kind of quarterback depth that they can go and win big games with late in the year. And that's why I think they didn't trade Jimmy Garoppolo."

Had the 49ers wanted to trade Garoppolo, King believes the team would have already done so. Lance is the future, but Garoppolo is the bridge quarterback the Niners were left with after failing to replace him this offseason. Not that they didn't try. San Francisco was linked to nearly every name out there, including Matthew Stafford, who went to the division-rival Los Angeles Rams.

The 49ers were content with the idea of playing Garoppolo this season and weren't willing to get shortchanged for the experienced quarterback.

After the March trade to move up nine draft spots, NFL Network's Steve Wyche asked Lynch if his team would entertain offers for Garoppolo.

"Absolutely," Lynch responded, per Wyche, while adding that several teams had "already been circling."

"And that would have been one thing if they had gotten an offer of a [first-round pick]," King continued, "if New England didn't take Mac Jones, was looking for a quarterback in May, and said, 'We'll give you a one for Garoppolo.' That would be one thing. But the fact is they haven't gotten that offer, nor do I think, in the absence of getting an offer of a one, I don't think they should trade Garoppolo [at all]. He is the kind of insurance that they need to try to make sure that they get in the playoff tournament in January."

You can listen to the entire conversation with King below.

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