The 49ers have yet to bid farewell to Jimmy Garoppolo despite reported attempts of trying, prompting questions about when it’ll finally happen.
Let’s make one thing clear heading deeper into the 2022 offseason: The San Francisco 49ers are not going to have quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on the roster by the time Week 1 rolls around.
A prime reason? Well, there are $25.5 million in reasons. And the Niners need that capital to sign their rookie NFL Draft class this year, which will cost in the range of $7 million, and they’ll want to reserve at least $3 million to $5 million in additional funds to guard against player injuries and attrition.
And this doesn’t even include the likely lucrative contract extensions needed for Pro Bowl EDGE Nick Bosa and All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch can say whatever they want about scenarios where Garoppolo joins 2021 rookie quarterback Trey Lance on the depth chart this upcoming season. But in the wake of admitted failed attempts to trade Garoppolo thus far, it’s not hard to see the writing on the wall.
San Francisco wants to move on. That part is clear. However, the team would also like to get something in return for Garoppolo if it could.
All this prompts the question: If the 49ers couldn’t trade Jimmy G earlier this offseason, when will they move him? And how?
Don’t expect 49ers to bid farewell to Jimmy Garoppolo anytime soon
“Soon” is a relative term here.
According to Lynch, many of the quarterback-needy teams possibly interested in Garoppolo balked at deeper trade talks because of Jimmy G’s sprained shoulder and subsequent surgery, which will prevent him from throwing a football until training camp.
That’s not good for a player switching teams and needing offseason workouts to jell with new teammates within a new system.
Right now, with almost all of those teams seeking signal-callers having gone with contingency plans, there’s no need for anyone (including Lynch and the Niners) to make an imminent move. At least not until the NFL Draft later this month when expected and unexpected shakeups could leave one or more teams still without likable options under center.
And players can always be used as part of draft-day trade bait.
49ers likely move Jimmy Garoppolo not long after June 15
If you’re looking for a concrete (or at least a strong estimate) date for when the 49ers finally part ways with Garoppolo, circle June 15 on your calendar.
That’s the conclusion of the 49ers’ offseason program, marking the end of OTAs and mandatory minicamps that’ll take place this spring.
With Garoppolo injured, Lance will be getting all the first-team reps throughout that period. And unless Lance completely flames out or looks like he’s wholly incapable of starting duties, there’s no reason for the Niners to keep a quarterback worth nearly $27 million on the roster.
An injury guarantee of $7.5 million is a deterrent for San Francisco against simply cutting Garoppolo right now, even though that amount would be assumed by a new team if he signs a contract at or above that price.
However, Garoppolo’s injury could still get in the way of any move San Francisco would like to make. And it might have to wait even longer to move him, perhaps to that point where he could clear a physical and thereby allow the 49ers to cut him without dealing with that injury guarantee.
If a trade materializes, it’ll likely be because some team realizes its starting option under center is not going according to plan at all. However, there’s still no guarantee that any trade happens.
So, if the Niners are forced to simply cut Jimmy G, they’ll want to do it as soon as possible so he can latch on with a team ahead of training camp and before they have the need to sign their 2022 draft class.
While it’s far from a concrete date, look at June 15 (or immediately thereafter) as the strongest likelihood.