49ers salary cap move No. 1: Releasing/trading quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo
Well, isn’t this the proverbial “elephant in the room?”
The Niners attempted to trade veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo earlier this offseason to pave the way for 2021 rookie signal-caller Trey Lance to assume full-time starting duties in 2022. However, Garoppolo commanded only modest interest on the open market, if any, and no serious trade talks developed.
This is likely due to the fact Garoppolo underwent offseason shoulder surgery and wouldn’t be able to toss a football until just before training camp.
San Francisco could have simply cut bait. And in the wake of Los Angeles signing Bobby Wagner, one can fairly question whether or not the 49ers would have been better off with the $25.5 million saved by parting ways with Garoppolo right now and using that to further bolster the roster.
Want your voice heard? Join the Niner Noise team!
As things go, currently, the Niners aren’t eagerly looking to jettison Garoppolo unless they get ample compensation via trade in return.
That could still happen, yes. The NFL Draft could heavily influence whether or not another team is interested in making a trade, even if it doesn’t net the kind of compensation San Francisco was originally seeking.
Still, freeing up $25-plus million against only $1.4 million in dead money is all the evidence needed to suggest Garoppolo’s time on the field for the 49ers is through, particularly in light of the context.
Only the Niners are being stubborn about making it happen.