Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Staley: Timing of 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s surgery may be meant to diminish trade value

Mar 9, 2022 at 3:58 PM--

Former San Francisco 49ers tackle Joe Staley said two noteworthy things during his conversation with KNBR on Wednesday. The first was that he's very excited to see 49ers-nemesis Russell Wilson leave the NFC West, feeling that the former Seattle Seahawks quarterback won't find much success with the Denver Broncos.

"I'm not a huge Russell Wilson believer," Staley admitted on the Papa & Lund show. "I know I've heard a lot of people that put him up at the top tier echelon of quarterbacks in the NFL over the last decade, but I think a lot of success, even if you go back to the year that they were dominating us, it was more that defense."

Staley doesn't feel Wilson will have the weapons around him in Denver to be successful, and now the team lacks a good amount of their draft capital thanks to the trade to acquire the quarterback.

Staley added, "I don't think he's going to be the huge difference-maker that everybody thinks that he's going to be."

But you're not here to read about Staley's opinion of Wilson. The former offensive lineman also discussed his former teammate, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Everyone expects San Francisco to trade Garoppolo in the coming weeks, and Staley admits that doing so and transitioning to Trey Lance is probably the right move for the team. Garoppolo underwent shoulder surgery this week, and many feel that has diminished his trade value—or at least raised some concern for interested teams.

Staley wonders if that was the plan.

"I think Jimmy is playing, right now, a little bit of the business game," Staley said after admitting that he has not heard a lot about Garoppolo from his former team, so he doesn't have any insider info. "They drafted a quarterback last year, third overall. I know Jimmy is a great guy, didn't make anything public, and is not going to split the team in any way or any capacity, but it probably felt a certain way to him that they would draft a guy to take over his role.

"So I think he's a little bit upset with that business aspect of it, and I think the timing of his surgery, right now, is a little bit of the business aspect to it, saying, 'All right, you're going to try to trade me? Well, I don't want to get traded, so I'm going to try to maybe diminish my trade value a little bit with this timing of this shoulder surgery.'"

However, Staley doesn't feel holding onto Garoppolo would be the correct move. Instead, the 49ers have to get something of value for the quarterback while they can. That will allow the team to keep its own young stars while adding more talent around Lance.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Staley below.

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