49ers option No. 2: Jimmy Garoppolo is released outright
While the quarterbacking market is always unsteady, each passing day lessens the likelihood of a trade.
And it’s possible Jimmy Garoppolo simply wants out of a strange, awkward situation.
Garoppolo and his agent, Don Yee, have to fully understand by now that no team is going to want to absorb the quarterback’s $25.5 million post-trade cap hit. Reportedly, that’s the biggest obstacle in the way of the Panthers trying to upgrade their own bad quarterback situation with flamed-out Sam Darnold poised to still be under center.
Few, if any, playoff-caliber teams are seeking quarterbacks by the way of a trade. So, assuming Garoppolo’s best interests win out here, what would prevent him from asking for his release outright, then being able to at least latch on somewhere with the upside hope of competing for a starting job while the base minimum would be landing a modest salary as a backup?
This might be a workable long-term plan. As noted before, quarterback landscapes change frequently and on a year-to-year basis. And some former starters have ridden the QB2 role for a year or more before reverting back to starting duties, such as former Chicago Bears starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who had to back up Buffalo Bills starter Josh Allen before signing on with the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason.
Getting a jump start on that process now might help salvage the back end of Garoppolo’s career, and the Niners might be coerced into granting it.