Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

John Lynch doesn’t foresee 49ers releasing Jimmy Garoppolo, says QB situation remains fluid

Mar 28, 2022 at 10:15 AM--

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch spoke with reporters on Monday at the owners meetings. Obviously, the media wanted to know his thoughts on the Jimmy Garoppolo situation.

No one expected Garoppolo to still be on the roster. Most felt that he and his over $25 million salary would have been traded by the start of the new league year on March 16. That didn't happen. Both Garoppolo and his hefty salary remain a part of the team.

With the list of quarterback-needy teams diminished, the 49ers' current predicament left many wondering if the organization might opt to release Garoppolo to get his salary off the books.

According to NBC Sports Bay Area, Lynch said he doesn't envision a scenario in which the 49ers release Garoppolo just to free up salary-cap space. The general manager explained why he feels there will eventually be some demand for the quarterback.

"I don't foresee that," Lynch said via Matt Maiocco. "He's too good of a player. I don't foresee that, and I think Jimmy will be playing for us, or he'll be playing for somebody else. He's too good of a player not to be."

Lynch added that there was a good amount of interest in Garoppolo leading to the NFL Scouting Combine. Of course, that was before news broke that the quarterback was undergoing shoulder surgery and would not be able to throw until maybe early July.

"There were a ton of conversations and I think there was real good momentum," Lynch said. "Then, the decision that was made for Jimmy to have surgery certainly caused a lot of teams to pause and at least slow down the process to do their due diligence."

After that, the quarterback-needy teams opted to pass on Garoppolo and find new starters elsewhere. That resulted in one of the wildest offseasons in recent memory, including Russell Wilson going to the Denver Broncos, Carson Wentz headed to the Washington Commanders, Deshaun Watson being traded to the Cleveland Browns, and Matt Ryan going to the Indianapolis Colts.

"The quarterback musical chairs is going on, and all along we understood that we really value Jimmy and never were we just going to give him away," Lynch added.

The 49ers general manager confirmed that, at least for now, the team plans to hold onto Garoppolo. Lynch likes the team's depth at quarterback with Garoppolo, Lance, and Nate Sudfeld.

"And, you know, some people are looking for one," Lynch said via Matt Barrows of The Athletic. "So I think that's a position of strength."

As for Trey Lance, the 49ers remain confident in the young quarterback's progress and ability to step into the starting role.

"There's a lot of questions of what this means for Trey," Lynch said. "The great news is we're extremely positive, as I've said and Kyle's said on Trey's progress. This offseason, he'll have ample opportunity — as will Nate — to get plenty of reps. And we're looking forward to that process."

Lynch also addressed what many perceived as the awkwardness of last season, having Garoppolos start with his eventual replacement, Lance, on the sidelines.

"I don't think it ever was awkward last year," Lynch said. "I don't want to speak for those guys. I think Jimmy, at the end, when he was saying his farewell, he may have indicated that, but it never felt awkward. I think I give both of those guys credit for that. I give the lines of communication between Kyle and Rich Scangarello, who was the quarterback coach, all that, credit. I don't think it ever felt awkward. Like I said, I think when you have strength at that position, it's a good thing for your team."

Meanwhile, the 49ers remain about $2.09 million under the salary cap.

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