Option No. 1: 49ers can release Jimmy Garoppolo outright
It’s possible this is the outcome Jimmy Garoppolo’s camp was looking for all along, the 49ers releasing him and allowing him to sign a new deal with a team of his choosing.
Perhaps that’s why Garoppolo delayed having surgery to repair his injured shoulder nearly a month after the Niners were eliminated from the postseason.
And maybe San Francisco is responding in force by waiting until the offseason quarterback market has gone dry before doing so. If so, it’s a cruel business. But it’s business regardless.
Conspiracy theories aside, releasing Garoppolo outright has to be an option the 49ers are staring in the face right now. They have to understand why teams may not be willing to give up anything, let alone a sizable return of NFL Draft picks, for a 30-year-old veteran with limited abilities and lengthy injury history, the same quarterback the Niners essentially announced they wanted to move on from a year ago with the Trey Lance selection.
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Now, San Francisco has to decide whether or not $25.5 million of Garoppolo’s owed money that could be saved if he was off the roster is better allocated by holding onto the hope of a sizable trade package down the road, or if that same money would be better used to support Lance with more weaponry right now.
If the 49ers decide the latter, Garoppolo could merely be released at a point where few teams would have interest in signing him to a sizable deal.
Brutal, but that’s how it goes.