49ers depth chart: 3 reasons Jimmy Garoppolo must be Week 1 starter
By Peter Panacy
No. 3: 49ers still need to beef up Jimmy Garoppolo’s trade value
In an ideal world, San Francisco doesn’t part ways with Jimmy Garoppolo for nothing. Trading up for the rights to draft Trey Lance proved to be expensive, and missing out on two future first-round picks, plus a 2021 Round 3 selection, didn’t come cheap.
True, Garoppolo isn’t going to command a first-round pick anytime soon. And his sizable $26.4 million cap hit this year and $27 million cap hit in 2022 is going to be an obstacle for any team considering to unload draft capital to grab him from the 49ers.
Still, the Niners are in their collective right mind to try.
Garoppolo’s trade market won’t be worth much at all if Kyle Shanahan simply elects to start Lance right out of the gate. Teams aren’t going to come calling for a $26 million clipboard holder whose sole job now would be to mentor Lance and serve as a reserve, should the rookie suffer some sort of injury or major meltdown as a starter.
No, the only way the Niners can remotely hope to build up Garoppolo’s trade value is to play him. And while he certainly has his share of limitations, not even including the fact he missed the majority of two of the last three years with injuries, Jimmy G should still at least be considered a top-20 quarterback in the league.
Someone capable of being a quality starter. He’s reached that status.
Granted, it’s anyone’s guess what the quarterbacking market will look like a year from now, let alone by the time this year’s NFL trade deadline rolls around.
But if San Francisco hopes to get something, anything in return for him, Garoppolo has to play.