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Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

NFL reporter calls interest in 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo ‘lukewarm’

Feb 23, 2022 at 12:08 PM--

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The San Francisco 49ers will likely trade their starting quarterback since 2017, Jimmy Garoppolo. It's probably less likely that the team will get a first-round pick for the veteran signal-caller—not that many felt that was a possibility.

The betting favorite for Garoppolo's new NFL home remains the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is a winner, and with a talented roster around him, a team could go far. Garoppolo and the 49ers went to the NFC Championship Game in two of the past three seasons and had a Super Bowl appearance. The quarterback owns a regular-season record of 31-14 with San Francisco. So, why trade him?

The 49ers have Garoppolo's successor on the roster, last year's No. 3 overall pick, Trey Lance. The young quarterback is expected to be the team's Week 1 starter next season.

San Francisco will likely try to do right by Garoppolo, attempting to send him to a contender—preferably one out of the conference. The quarterback-needy Steelers seem like a good fit.

"If [Garoppolo] does [leave], he deserves to go to a great situation," Lance said during the week leading to the Super Bowl, "so I think they're going to make sure they do get that done if Jimmy does leave."

While the Steelers make a lot of sense, one NFL reporter calls the interest in Garoppolo "lukewarm." That's not good news for the 49ers, who probably hope trading their quarterback away is worthwhile—aside from the obvious salary-cap savings.

"Interest in guys like Jimmy Garoppolo and Carson Wentz is lukewarm as best I can tell, while some rumblings about Kirk Cousins and Matt Ryan have picked up," wrote Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

ESPN's Adam Schefter is making headlines after suggesting that the 49ers trading Garoppolo may not be the lock everyone assumes it to be, implying that Lance may be "further behind than people realized."

If the compensation for Garoppolo isn't what the 49ers hope, might they be willing to pay his salary for one more year and then receive a compensatory pick when he leaves in 2023?

Said Schefter: "Now you can say, 'Jimmy Garoppolo is unquestionably one of the most popular and respected players in our locker room. Players love playing with him. We have him under contract this year at a very friendly $25 million cap number. And if we play with him this year, and we lose him after this year, we're going to get a third-round comp pick back in return.'"

We knew the 49ers' quarterback situation would make for some interesting early-offseason chatter, and it certainly has. That is unlikely to stop until Garoppolo's fate has been determined.

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