While Jimmy Garoppolo could easily demand a trade or release by the 49ers in the wake of their NFL Draft move, it almost benefits him more to stay.
It makes total sense why quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo would want a fast-track ticket out from the San Francisco 49ers in the wake of their blockbuster trade that saw them move up from No. 12 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft to No. 3.
The move all but ensures the Niners want to move on from Garoppolo. Perhaps not in 2021, as the post-trade press conference with general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan hinted at. But most likely in 2022 after a first-year rookie has the chance to learn and develop while Garoppolo gets one last chance to help take San Francisco back to the Super Bowl.
Garoppolo could easily be ticked off. And he wouldn’t be completely out of line to ask for a trade or release this offseason so he could go to another team that would turn to him as a full-time long-term starter. Just imagine if your employer told you they were planning on moving on from you in the not-so-distant future and were already hiring your replacement soon.
Would you want to stay? Probably not.
That said, there are reasons why it might actually be in Garoppolo’s best interests to stick around with the 49ers for at least one more season rather than demand to go somewhere else.
Jimmy Garoppolo has $26.4 million reasons to stay with 49ers
Per Over the Cap, Jimmy G is poised to earn $26.4 million with the Niners this season. If San Francisco was adamant about solely creating cap space and saving money, Garoppolo likely would have been moved by now, which would have freed up $23.6 million.
But the 49ers can afford to keep Garoppolo around on that current contract, one he certainly wouldn’t get on the free-agent market if he ended up being a cap casualty. Certainly not after missing two of the last three years with significant injuries.
What about a trade, though?
Well, that’s a point. But as Sports Illustrated’s Jose Luis Sanchez III pointed out, specifically with regards to Garoppolo’s old team, the New England Patriots, it’s not as clear cut as one might assume:
"For starters, Garoppolo is being paid handsomely this season, and it is very likely the most he will see in a season for the rest of his NFL career. Let’s say he does end up with the Patriots via trade. They only have $11 million in salary cap space. Roughly half of that is going to be used towards their 2021 draft class, so that means Garoppolo will need to take a pay cut."
While the terms of the remaining $23.6 million owed to Garoppolo would essentially be traded to New England, he wouldn’t end up receiving anywhere close to that kind of money after a reworked deal.
Jimmy Garoppolo has a better chance to win with 49ers than most other suitable spots
While the Patriots spent wildly in free agency to improve upon what was a 7-9 finish last season, they’re still not quite close enough to be considered legitimate playoff contenders. Especially with the rest of the AFC East already heating up and the Buffalo Bills now the class of that division.
The 49ers have already shown they can win with a fully healthy Garoppolo and a decent cast of supporting talent around them. That’s going to be the goal for 2021, obviously, and a resurgent effort from Jimmy G would go a long way towards improving his stock value for 2022 and beyond.
Especially when Garoppolo is scheduled to be a free agent in 2023 anyway.
A good year from Garoppolo would also benefit the Niners, too, as they’d likely be able to seek higher compensation for him on the trade market.
The context of Garoppolo’s surroundings might not be better anywhere else than what it is now, currently, as San Francisco still has a great deal of offensive continuity carrying over from that 2019 Super Bowl run. If Garoppolo wants to bank on some success, potentially even as a proverbial “thumbing of his nose” to the 49ers front office, sticking around for one more solid season might be the best way to do it.