49ers news: Adam Schefter says ‘not so fast’ on Jimmy Garoppolo trade

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

While the 49ers still appear poised to trade Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason, ESPN’s Adam Schefter is balking at the idea it’ll be automatic.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter doesn’t want you to believe the San Francisco 49ers are guaranteed to trade veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason.

Schefter appeared with Pro Football Focus’ Ari Meirov earlier this week to discuss all things NFL offseason, and it’s only natural the Niners’ anticipated switch from Garoppolo to 2021 rookie quarterback Trey Lance came up.

And while many are assuming Garoppolo will be traded to open up the door for Lance to start in 2022, Schefter isn’t so sure.

“I’m just telling you that Trey Lance was probably further behind than people realized,” Schefter said. “Trey Lance is greener than people realized. Trey Lance is going to need more work than people realized. And they have a roster that can win now.”

As far as being green, it’s hard to argue with Schefter. Lance had one full season as a starter at the collegiate level at North Dakota State in 2019, and he played just one game in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

All told, Lance attempted a mere 318 passes during his college tenure before San Francisco aggressively traded up in the 2021 NFL Draft to grab him at No. 3 overall.

The 49ers did their best to shield Lance his rookie season, only starting him twice when Garoppolo was out with injuries. And while that one-year maturation timeframe might be working in Lance’s favor, Schefter still thinks the Niners should hesitate on pulling off an offseason Garoppolo trade.

Adam Schefter makes a point with regards to what 49ers could get via Jimmy Garoppolo trade

The 2022 quarterbacking market isn’t expected to be a good one. Free agency will offer few likable options, and one ACC scout told Niner Noise he didn’t feel any prospects in this year’s NFL Draft were on track to be quality starters.

San Francisco would benefit from a bidding war for Garoppolo’s services this upcoming season, sure, but Schefter raised the question about the would-be trade-off:

"OK, so let’s say they get a two, four, and a six [draft pick]. Now, you’re San Francisco. Now you can say, “Jimmy Garoppolo is unquestionably one of the most popular and respected players in our locker room. Players love playing with him. We have him under contract this year at a very friendly $25 million cap number. And if we play with him this year, and we lose him after this year, we’re going to get a third-round comp pick back in return.”So, are you better, then, playing the season with Jimmy while getting Trey the training that he still needs? Or are you better trading him for—let’s just call it a two, four, and a six? What’s the better alternative?"

It’s a fair point. If the 49ers wait until 2023, they’d likely receive that third-round compensatory selection after he signed anywhere in free agency a year from now.

But Schefter’s argument starts to fall apart a bit when considering the financials.

49ers may need to trade Jimmy Garoppolo because of money

Football is a business, and businesses are about money. Money matters in this case, too, and the Niners are already $4.478 million over the 2022 salary cap, according to Over the Cap.

There’s enough wiggle room for San Francisco to get under that number, perhaps by the way of cap casualties, extensions and restructured contracts. But with a would-be Garoppolo move, the 49ers would free up an additional $25 million in cap space.

Read More: Every team that ‘could’ target 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Money crucially needed to extend star players like wide receiver Deebo Samuel, EDGE Nick Bosa and to fully support Lance with additional assets amid the context of winning now.

If Garoppolo is kept, executing any of those transactions would be exceptionally more difficult.

The Niners could feel as if Schefter is correct and Lance is nowhere close to being ready. But fans need to also recognize Schefter isn’t saying Lance will turn into a bust. If anything, it’s the exact opposite:

"Let me say this: [Lance] is developing the right way. They are happy with him. But I go back to my initial statement, that he did not play college football at all two years ago. He’s coming from a small school, to begin with. And there is a steep learning curve for a quarterback like that who’s blessed with a lot of talent, who they still are very high on."

That’s certainly good news. But until Garoppolo is traded (if he’s traded), there is going to be speculation Lance winds up staying No. 2 on San Francisco’s quarterbacking depth chart for the immediate future.

Hat tip to 49ers Webzone for the find.

Next. Ranking 49ers' 10 best trades in franchise history. dark