Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


Albert Breer on 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo: ‘I don’t believe the plan right now is to keep him’

May 23, 2022 at 8:12 AM--


Jimmy Garoppolo won't be in attendance as the San Francisco 49ers kick off organized team activities this week. He is still recovering from the shoulder surgery he underwent on March 8 and won't be medically cleared to throw again until late next month or early July.

There has been speculation that the 49ers might be willing to hold onto Garoppolo this season. The team's inability to trade their injured quarterback and unwillingness to release the player outright sparked that speculation.

However, Albert Breer of The MMQB believes San Francisco still intends to offload Garoppolo before the start of the season.

"San Francisco, for what it's worth, has had an open line of communication with Garoppolo's camp the last few months, and both sides are willing to be flexible to find the best situation for the 30-year-old who's led the Niners to two NFC title games over the last three years," Breer wrote. "And that means, if a team's out there wanting to renegotiate the final year of his contract, which has $24.8 million on it (and is not guaranteed), as part of a trade, the opportunity's there to do it, and other teams know it."

The 49ers appear to be doing whatever they can to facilitate Garoppolo's trade. But, right now, the demand is low. Signings and trades have whittled down the plethora of quarterback-needy teams at the start of the offseason. The Carolina Panthers remain an option, but there is no hurry on their part if they are even interested.

Releasing Garoppolo would free up significant salary-cap space. However, it would also allow the quarterback to sign with a quarterback-desperate team like the Seattle Seahawks, a division rival. That's probably a scenario the 49ers would like to avoid.

The other benefit of slow-playing the Garoppolo situation is that a new quarterback-needy team may emerge between now and training camp. While uncommon, quarterback injuries can happen during offseason programs. A desperate team might be what the 49ers are waiting for.

Fans are eager to see Garoppolo off the roster, clearly paving the way for last year's No. 3 overall pick, Trey Lance, to become the undisputed leader on offense. It might also slow all of the national-media speculation that the 49ers have doubts surrounding Lance's readiness to start.

For those who believe the 49ers are open to holding onto Garoppolo, even if that means the high-priced quarterback serving as Lance's backup through 2022, Breer writes: "[W]hile they've played patient throughout on Jimmy Garoppolo, I don't believe the plan right now is to keep him."



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