The 49ers keep getting impacted by Jimmy Garoppolo news even if he's no longer with the Raiders, plus let's look at the Niners' most exciting UDFA.
Yes, the Niners know that story well. In three of his six seasons with them, Garoppolo ended up suffering some sort of season-ending injury and required surgery to repair it in each of the following offseasons.
Last year, it was a foot injury in Week 13 that not only gave rise to then-rookie quarterback Brock Purdy but also was originally thought not to require surgery.
It did, and that took place after the Raiders signed him to a three-year free-agent deal during the offseason.
But that's only part of the catch.
Garoppolo wouldn't have passed his physical with Las Vegas, which is the reason why his introductory press conference was delayed. According to a report from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the revised contract that included a specific injury waiver was hastily being drawn up before Jimmy G was able to speak to the media.
Oh, boy. San Francisco probably doesn't miss that circus anymore, right?
But wait, there's more.
Raiders could cut Jimmy Garoppolo at any point without cost
That waiver specified that the Raiders could move on from Garoppolo without owing a dime on the three-year, $72.8 million contract he signed during the offseason.
Here's part of the report from Florio that's specific to this waiver addendum:
"The contract preserves the team’s ability to terminate the agreement with no further obligation, “for any reason related to the Waiver and Release attached as Addendum G.” The waiver becomes null and void if at any time during the 2023 season, Garoppolo passes a physical exam, is active for at least one regular-season game, and does not suffer re-injury to his left foot in the manner described in Addendum G."
Now, head coach Josh McDaniels already told reporters that the Raiders expect Garoppolo back by training camp, and that was corroborated last Sunday by ESPN's Jeremy Fowler (h/t Bleacher Report).
Still, that hasn't stopped the "what if?" chatter about there suggesting Garoppolo is cut by Vegas and somehow re-signs with the 49ers once more.
Pay close attention to this 49ers rookie undrafted free agent
Undrafted free agents are always fun to root for. The epitome of an underdog, undrafted players often have the longest of long shots to make a team's 53-man roster.
But it won't prevent them from trying. Not only are there 31 other teams watching, but there are occassionally those hidden-gem UDFAs who suddenly rise out of nowhere into positions of prominence.
Heck, the Niners have had a few such players over the years.
Of those San Francisco inked after the 2023 NFL Draft, one gets singled out by Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report, who put together a list of each team's most exciting UDFA heading into offseason workouts.
For the 49ers, Ballentine's selection was offensive lineman Joey Fisher of Shepherd University.
Granted, Fisher had a tough go of it during rookie minicamp, not physically being able to complete his workouts. Yet Ballentine doesn't care about that. Instead, he's viewing the upside:
"Fisher performed well in the NFLPA Bowl and actually earned an invite to the Senior Bowl but a broken hand kept him from participating.
He heads to a Niners team that could use depth at right tackle and on the interior."
NFL.com labels Brock Purdy as 49ers' most underappreciated player
Speaking of UDFAs, Purdy was one pick away from being one himself.
As the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, otherwise coined as "Mr. Irrelevant," Purdy's rapid ascent in the wake of Garoppolo's injury has essentially solved San Francisco's quarterbacking woes.
Well, at least in theory. Purdy is coming back from a torn UCL and has to contend with fellow quarterbacks, Trey Lance and Sam Darnold, who'd love to have the starting job, too.
At any rate, NFL.com's Cynthia Frelund put together a list of the most underappreciated teams in the league right now, and Purdy ended up being her selection for the 49ers:
"Mr. Irrelevant? Not exactly. According to my calculations, Purdy's first four games played saw the biggest win-share increase for any rookie in the 2022 season. Obviously, his O-line, skill players, defense and coaches all deserve some credit here, too, for all of the support they supplied. Next Gen Stats help tell that story, as Purdy logged eight touchdowns on passes of fewer than 10 air yards from Week 13 through 18 -- the second-most in the league over that span."
Purdy is making pocket change (just $889,253 this season, per Over the Cap), and his contract doesn't even count against the top 51 used to determine offseason salary cap space.
Needless to say, should Purdy return healthy and continue his trajectory, that number will eventually be significantly higher.