No. 3: Jimmy Garoppolo won’t be worth $27 million
It’s the proverbial elephant in the room: Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract, which will cost the 49ers up to $26.4 million this season and an additional $27 million in 2022, if he somehow winds up sticking around on the roster.
We’ve been over this before. But the Niners can save all but $1.4 million of that next year if he’s either released or traded, per Over the Cap, freeing up a massive amount of money to allocate to other needs while Trey Lance spends at least the following three-plus years on his affordable rookie deal.
Garoppolo would never get that kind of money on the open market. He knows this, and other teams know it, too. That’s why he didn’t demand a trade or an outright release when Lance was drafted.
On the near horizon, though, the Niners have to face some hard truths about their financial limitations. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel, their No. 1 offensive weapon this year, is due for an extension that won’t be cheap next season. EDGE Nick Bosa could also receive an extension, too, possibly making him the highest-paid defender in the NFL. Left guard Laken Tomlinson, who has been playing lights-out football and is the model of consistency, is a high-profile pending free agent.
With a projected $12.5 million in available cap space in 2022, none of those would-be deals would be easy unless Garoppolo and his contract are out of the picture.