Loser: 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo
Despite months of John Lynch telling reporters that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was going to be the guy under center for 2021, the 49ers’ move up to No. 3 overall ensures Jimmy G’s tenure with the team is finite.
The only question remaining now is whether or not the Niners move him at the soonest possible opportunity or let him play one more year with the squad while mentoring whichever rookie San Francisco selects on April 29.
The 49ers can save $23.6 million by cutting or trading Garoppolo this offseason, per Over the Cap, and that money would go a long way towards locking up the other portions of the roster mentioned earlier. Plus, it’s hard to envision the Niners wanting to pay Garoppolo his full $26.4 million when the quarterback is essentially a “lame duck.”
Garoppolo, too, may want out immediately while being perfectly willing to waive his no-trade clause to ensure he keeps the money left on his contract after a would-be trade.
At the same time, though, San Francisco showed it can win with a fully healthy Garoppolo and a talented roster. The 2019 team is indicative of that. Given the complex nature of Kyle Shanahan’s offense, it would be a lot to ask a rookie quarterback to come in right away and handle those duties when the 49ers are under pressure to win now.
Still, one thing is for certain: Garoppolo is no longer going to be the feature piece of the franchise. The Niners have fully stated they want to move on from him.
It’s just a matter of when.