Option No. 1: Jimmy Garoppolo can demand 49ers trade him
Jimmy Garoppolo’s no-trade clause expired at the beginning of the league new year on March 16. The Niners can now move him wherever they want, and they certainly attempted this already but to no avail.
Garoppolo and his camp understand the situation. San Francisco wants to move on and clear $25.5 million in much-needed salary-cap space in doing so, according to Over the Cap. Meanwhile, Jimmy G might not want to sit around the 49ers’ offseason program knowing he’s going to play the proverbial second fiddle to Trey Lance from this point onward.
A trade, no matter how insignificant a return, would also be Garoppolo’s last best chance at recouping that $25-plus million the Niners would otherwise clear if they moved him. While general manager John Lynch is on record saying San Francisco won’t simply give him away for next to nothing, the context would change if Garoppolo’s camp suddenly became overly aggressive in forcing a trade.
That might be the best-case outcome for Jimmy G to take, provided the trading team absorbs his owed salary and regardless if the 49ers have to accept nothing more than a late-round NFL Draft pick in return.
One problem, though, is this option gets far more complicated simply because another team would have to be willing to bite.
So far, no team has.