49ers headache No. 1: Inability to trade Jimmy Garoppolo
Going into the offseason, everyone knew the 49ers were going to trade quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, likely to the highest-bidding team that still offered a legitimate chance at playoff contention. Heck, Garoppolo even said his farewell to the media during his final press conference following the Niners’ elimination in the NFC Championship game.
Amid a bad market for quarterback-needy teams, considering the lack of options in free agency and few no-doubt prospects in this year’s NFL Draft, , it was supposed to be a good time for San Francisco to trade Jimmy G when few other options were seemingly available.
Except all the dominos started to fall — Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos, Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders, Deshaun Watson to the Cleveland Browns, Marcus Mariota to the Atlanta Falcons, Matt Ryan to the Colts and so on — and Garoppolo was left out of the mix.
Moreover, John Lynch’s comments to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch didn’t exactly suggest the 49ers received a lot of recent interest:
"No. Conceptually, we’ve talked [with other teams]. And we’ve had conversations. But no one has said, “OK, here’s our offer.” We never got to that point."
Lynch also added the Niners are prepared to hold onto Garoppolo for a while, waiting for that situation to develop where a team might seek a trade. In the interim, though, San Francisco is still scheduled to be on the hook for Jimmy G’s $27 million salary owed to him in 2022, along with all the fallout of not being able to fully transition to 2021 rookie quarterback Trey Lance.
In an ideal world, Lynch and the 49ers would have been able to wash their hands clean of the Garoppolo situation by now, freeing up the bulk of that money and getting something at least modestly worthwhile in return.
Except all those quarterback-needy teams had other plans.