Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Why Peter King can envision the 49ers keeping Jimmy Garoppolo in 2022

Dec 4, 2021 at 10:48 AM--

Jimmy Garoppolo is the San Francisco 49ers quarterback right now. Rookie Trey Lance is his eventual successor. Everyone expects the Garoppolo to Lance transition to occur after this season. The veteran passer is scheduled to earn $24.2 million in base salary next year. That's a hefty one-year price tag for any team to take on, including the 49ers.

With next year's rookie quarterback class expected to be underwhelming, Colin Cowherd believes there will be a market for Garoppolo.

"[The 49ers are] going to get something for Jimmy Garoppolo," Cowherd insisted on his show, The Herd. "... This Jimmy Garoppolo thing, they're going to get a big pick for that. There is desperation all over this league at quarterback."

Garoppolo has played well over the last five games. He owns a passer rating of 108.8 since Week 8. Garoppolo's stock is rising. However, not everyone sees the 49ers quarterback landing elsewhere in 2022 as a certainty.

"I think that's a great possibility in what could happen," Peter King of NBC Sports told Cowherd. "But if Jimmy Garoppolo continues to play the way he is right now, I don't think the Niners are going to trade him. I don't. I think the Niners will keep him because one thing Kyle Shanahan knows, what has ruined three of his first five seasons as an NFL head coach — the quarterback and quarterback depth.

"I just don't think that the value that they would get back — even if they got the 12th pick in the draft for Garoppolo, let's say — I don't think that value is going to mean anything a year from now if Trey Lance goes out, and he's not what they thought he was. And that's why, until Trey Lance gives them no reason to be hesitant, I think they stay with Garoppolo."

It would be shocking if another NFL team offered a first-round pick for Garoppolo. Given what they surrendered in draft capital for Lance, it might be even more surprising if the 49ers turned down such an offer. The futures of Shanahan and general manager John Lynch are resting in the young quarterback.

In March, before the 49ers drafted Lance, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reported that San Francisco would consider trading Garoppolo for a first-round pick.

"I was told that, yes, it'd take a first-round pick for the Niners to listen at this point," Breer wrote, "which of course would be nice for San Francisco to have after it yielded its firsts in 2022 and '23 to jump from No. 12 to 3."

In April, Michael Giardi of NFL Network heard the same thing.

"What I'm hearing right now is the asking price is a first-round pick," Giardi reported.

While Shanahan has stressed that Lance is the 49ers' future, he wasn't quick to shut the door on the possibility of Garoppolo returning in 2022.

"I think there's a chance for anything," Shanahan said last month. "But I think we've made it pretty clear that Trey's our guy of the future, whenever that will happen."

The 49ers quarterback also didn't dismiss the possibility.

"Honestly, with the possibilities, I try not to close any doors too early," Garoppolo said. "It's one of those situations, you've just got to let it play out, I think. We've got a lot going on with the season and everything right now. If you start thinking about those other things, you just get distracted, I think. But when we cross that bridge, we'll assess everything then."

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