3 players 49ers may dangle on trade block in 2021
By Peter Panacy
No. 1: 49ers Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo
Let’s make one thing clear: Rookie quarterback Trey Lance isn’t going to take over for the starter, Jimmy Garoppolo, right out of the gate this season.
True, Lance is starting to show the flashes of being a potential NFL game-changer. There are reasons why San Francisco aggressively moved up for him in this year’s draft, and head coach Kyle Shanahan fully intends to give Lance the starting job whenever the quarterback reaches that point where he can help win games as effectively as Garoppolo.
San Francisco 49ers
Just don’t expect that to happen anytime soon.
But the situation and context could be entirely different by late October. Lance might have closed the gap, and there just as easily could be other teams out there looking to nab a quarterback. Either due to injuries to starters or because their current signal-callers are floundering, putting pressure on front offices.
From the 49ers’ standpoint, they’d want to sell high, moving Jimmy G for the best possible return compensation. With $2.4 million in dead money the next two years but a 2022 cap hit of up to $27 million, getting out from under Garoppolo’s contract sooner than later could help free up some much-needed cap space the Niners could then use to re-sign or extend other key players, such as linebacker Fred Warner or EDGE Nick Bosa.
A midseason trade might not be likely, especially if an experienced Garoppolo gives San Francisco the best shot at a deep playoff push right now.
But the all-too-important context could easily change between now and the trade deadline, and there’s still a reasonable chance Garoppolo winds up being dangled as trade bait at some point in 2021.