The SF 49ers apparently seem committed to Jimmy Garoppolo in 2021, but they’d be wise to explore these four options instead.
You can find some of it here, from Hall of Famer Steve Young, numerous Niners insiders and beat reporters and fans alike. All of it based on the notion head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense is better off with a more capable signal-caller than Garoppolo.
And when factoring in San Francisco’s decreasing salary cap space along with the max $26.6 million Garoppolo is scheduled to make last year, it’s not hard to figure out why, at least financially, the SF 49ers could be better off moving in another direction.
Shanahan told reporters he expects “Jimmy to be our starter next year.”
Perhaps. What else would one expect Shanahan to say? It isn’t as if the head coach would throw his quarterback under the bus amid an injury-plagued season, which includes Garoppolo’s own high-ankle sprains.
Instead, Shanahan and general manager John Lynch need to evaluate all options on the table.
Here are four of them.
No. 4: SF 49ers elect to cut Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason
It’s highly possible Shanahan and the Niners simply decide to make Garoppolo a cap casualty, parting ways once the league new year begins. NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco told KNBR 680 it was a possibility. And when looking at the contract numbers, it makes sense, too.
Simply cutting Garoppolo would generate $24.1 million in cap space with $2.8 million in dead money next season. For a team currently projected to have just over $23.2 million, a slew of pending free agents needing to be re-signed and long-term, lucrative extensions eventually on the table for up-and-coming players like linebacker Fred Warner and EDGE Nick Bosa, taking advantage of this team-friendly out makes a lot of sense.
Of course, it opens up a slew of other problems at the position. That’s the negative.
Shanahan also noted Garoppolo gives San Francisco its best chance to win on the field. The alternative would be going after a veteran free agent, although the 2021 market isn’t particularly inspiring outside of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. And he’ll command a hefty contract. There are trade possibilities, too, although many of the quarterbacks linked to Shanahan in one way or another aren’t exactly on cheap contracts either — names like the Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan or the Minnesota Vikings’ Kirk Cousins.
There’s always the 2021 NFL Draft, too, although that would entail the hope a rookie could keep the SF 49ers’ Super Bowl window open next season.