Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Trotter: 49ers hope to trade Jimmy Garoppolo into a winning situation, considered starting Trey Lance in Week 18

Feb 17, 2022 at 11:43 AM--

What will the trade market be like for Jimmy Garoppolo? Will the San Francisco 49ers have to settle for a mid-round pick after trading away a second-round pick for the quarterback in 2017? Or will quarterback-needy teams get desperate and overspend for Garoppolo thanks to an unimpressive incoming rookie quarterback class?

Jim Trotter of NFL Network says the 49ers haven't made a final decision about Garoppolo's future. However, most expect the team to officially transition from Garoppolo to last year's No. 3 overall pick, Trey Lance.

"One thing I've been told is why this relationship worked this year, which really could have been awkward with them trading up to get Trey Lance, is that they were very transparent with Jimmy from the very beginning about what they expected and what their plans were," Trotter said. "And my understanding is, in the exit meeting, they told Jimmy as well [that] they will continue to be transparent here. And because he is so respected and beloved by his teammates and whatnot, that if they can do right by him in terms of landing him at a spot where he wants to be, and he has a chance to win, they will do that."

While Garoppolo helped get the 49ers to a Super Bowl and two NFC Championship games over the past three seasons, the team is confident in Lance taking over. Last season, Lance only started two games, serving as Garoppolo's backup and using his time on the scout team to develop.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan even considered making Lance the starter heading into the season opener, and then again considered starting the 21-year-old quarterback in Week 18 as Garoppolo continued to deal with a thumb injury.

"Everything they expected from him last year, they saw, even some of the rookie struggles that young guys might have," Trotter continued. "He was in consideration, actually, to start going into the season until he got hurt in that preseason game where he injured the index finger on his throwing hand. And there was even a discussion about possibly starting him in that final regular-season game. But ultimately, the team decided that Jimmy had led them to that point and they were going to stay [with him], and that's what they did."

Gregg Rosenthal isn't confident the 49ers will end up getting more than a third- or fourth-round pick for Garoppolo and may have to view a trade as more of a salary dump. Garoppolo's base salary in 2022 is over $24 million.

"He did not play well down the stretch," Rosenthal said. "His last five games was full of mistakes, not a lot of big-time throws, and the team really won despite him."

Trotter agrees that there might not be an aggressive market for Garoppolo, but there might be a market better than the one Rosenthal is anticipating.

"This is a quarterback who has gone to a Super Bowl, who last year went to an NFC Championship Game," Trotter explained. "And granted, he didn't play great last year, and part of that was due to injuries that he was battling with. No one is expecting Jimmy G to be Aaron Rodgers, but remember, there is going to be a quarterback market this year because a number of teams are looking for quarterbacks, and some of them feel, if you can get a veteran guy who can come in, and you can surround him with parts, that you may have a chance to make a push for the playoffs."

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