Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Breer: Jimmy Garoppolo’s 49ers fate dependent on Trey Lance’s offseason development

May 15, 2022 at 10:18 AM--

Jimmy Garoppolo has remained on the San Francisco 49ers roster far longer than anyone expected or predicted. The Niners have tried to trade the veteran, clearing the way for second-year quarterback Trey Lance. However, offseason shoulder surgery halted trade discussions, and the 49ers, for now, appear stuck with Garoppolo and his hefty salary.

The 49ers have maintained that they are comfortable holding onto Garoppolo if they cannot strike a deal to their liking. Everyone realizes, though, that Plan A is to trade the quarterback for something worthwhile rather than letting him fulfill his contract on the team and leave as a free agent in 2023. Releasing Garoppolo would also net them nothing, aside from salary cap space.

Holding onto Garoppolo might happen. Most of the once-quarterback-needy teams have already added quarterbacks. The demand for the oft-injured 30-year-old isn't what it might have been had Garoppolo been healthy entering the offseason.

Speaking on The Rich Eisen Show, Albert Breer seems convinced that Garoppolo remaining with the 49ers in 2022 is at least a real possibility, and the quarterback's fate depends on one person—Lance.

"I just look at where the Niners are and some of the things they may want to do," Breer told Eisen, explaining that the team has young players they need to lock up.

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel, assuming the team and player can reconcile their differences, is one. Defensive end Nick Bosa will likely end up becoming the highest-paid NFL defender. That's a lot of money that needs to be invested in two elite players.

"The Niners have been proactive in the past about getting guys signed and trying to get ahead of things," Breer continued. "... Getting Jimmy Garoppolo off their books would free them up financially to start to take care of guys like Deebo and guys like Nick Bosa.

"It would also verify things for their young quarterback. They may want to see Trey go through the spring now, and knowing that Jimmy's not going to be fully healthy until at least the end of June, maybe gives them the leeway to say, 'Well, let's let him hang around here another two months, and then we'll see where Trey is coming out of this spring because we believe we have a championship team. We've obviously been in the championship game two of the last three years.'

"But I certainly think by the time we get to the end of June, if Trey Lance is where they hope he's going to be a little under two months from now, then there would be a motivation to try to move Jimmy then, especially if he can demonstrate to another team that he can throw at that point."

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