4 players 49ers should explore trading early in 2022

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers is congratulated by General Manager John Lynch (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers is congratulated by General Manager John Lynch (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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John Lynch, Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch (left) with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

The 49ers have limited NFL Draft capital in 2022, yet moving these four players early in the offseason can help rectify that to a good extent.

The San Francisco 49ers have been no strangers to notable trades ever since head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch took over their respective duties in 2017.

There have been a few blockbusters, such as the 2019 pickup of EDGE Dee Ford from the Kansas City Chiefs, and perhaps the most notable one, acquiring quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from the New England Patriots just before the 2017 NFL trade deadline. Other deals have been mixed in, too.

With the 2021 trade deadline well in the rearview mirror, the next time Lynch and Co. can strike this kind of deal would be at the start of the league new year in the spring of 2022.

And there are certainly some moves Lynch should explore making, particularly after dishing out multiple first-round NFL Draft picks and a Round 3 selection to grab quarterback Trey Lance last April.

While many of these proposed trade ideas wouldn’t net anything like that in return, it could help stockpile the overall draft capital for Lynch and the Niners next year.

Of course, like any other team-to-team transaction, San Francisco can’t simply trade away “bad” players for something nice in return. Good luck trying to accomplish that if you’re a general manager.

Here are four, though, Lynch should explore moving.

49ers Trade Candidate No. 4: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo

Let’s get this one out of the way first, since it’s the most obvious.

Right or wrong, the 49ers have stuck by Garoppolo as their established starter this year despite the investment in Lance, the observed plan being Lance will take over those duties in 2022, making Garoppolo a lame duck for the rest of 2021.

Signed through next year, though, the Niners can clear $25.6 million of Garoppolo’s owed $27 million, according to Over the Cap, via a trade to another team.

Granted, that team would need to either have enough cap space to absorb that hit and/or Garoppolo would need to waive his no-trade clause and potentially accept a reduction in salary, admitting he wouldn’t get that kind of money on the open market if he’s outright released.

Yet there still are teams Garoppolo might prefer anyway, and the offseason quarterback market in 2022 is going to be awfully provocative, especially with limited options in the NFL Draft.

Meanwhile, San Francisco will hope Garoppolo finishes out the year playing as well as he possibly can, increasing the net value in return and thereby opening up the door for Lance in 2022.