The 49ers remain stuck with Jimmy Garoppolo for now, meaning there’s still plenty of speculation about where he’ll play when the 2022 season rolls around.
The 2022 league new year is almost two months old, the NFL Draft is in the books and the upcoming regular-season schedule is now public knowledge.
And Jimmy Garoppolo remains a quarterback on the San Francisco 49ers roster.
The Niners have apparently tried moving him, opening up the door for second-year signal-caller Trey Lance to establish himself as the unchallenged No. 1 on the quarterbacking depth chart. Yet Garoppolo remains without a new team amid the crazy musical chairs that took place this offseason.
Perhaps it has to do with the $25.5 million post-trade salary Garoppolo would command. Maybe it’s his shoulder injury and subsequent surgery that turned off teams.
Either way, San Francisco is stuck with him. For now, at least.
The landscape can and will change between now and Week 1, of course, but let’s take a look at four teams that could still end up signing Garoppolo’s paychecks this upcoming season.
Jimmy Garoppolo employer No. 1: 49ers
Likely? No. Possible? Sure.
The 49ers have repeatedly said they’re not going to simply “give” Garoppolo away for next to nothing, which probably helps explain reports why they initially declined a second-round pick for him earlier this offseason when his value was apparently higher.
Currently, the Niners have less than $1 million in salary-cap space, meaning they don’t have the ability to sign their rookie draft class. Something has to give, and clearing Jimmy G’s salary is the easiest way to do it.
However, doing so via an outright release isn’t the only option.
San Francisco could, at least in theory, have Garoppolo accept a serious pay cut and likely a backup role to play behind Lance, costing a maximum of $1.4 million in dead money, as Jimmy G’s injury will prevent him from taking first-team reps during offseason workouts.
Lance will get those. But a cheaper Garoppolo in 2022 could easily be an insurance policy if Lance winds up flaming out early and/or not being ready to go.