It’s long been a foregone conclusion that the San Francisco 49ers will either trade or release Jimmy Garoppolo ahead of final cuts on Aug. 31.
As for Garoppolo, he didn’t take part in any off-season practices as the veteran recovered from shoulder surgery. Now that Garoppolo is 100% and been cleared to practice, he remains away from San Francisco as the two sides prepare for a divorce.
Based on what we’re hearing from the 49ers’ brass, said divorce might not be as imminent as most of us believe. At the very least, that’s what they want us to believe.
“I think any scenario is possible,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said during Tuesday’s press conference.
This comes after 49ers CEO Jed York indicated that he’d welcome Garoppolo back to the team. There’s certainly a lot of moving parts here.
San Francisco 49ers playing spin game with Jimmy Garoppolo
Let’s be honest here for a second. San Francisco is not going to roster Garoppolo at $24.2 million in 2022 to sit behind Lance. The 49ers also spent their entire offseason focused on getting Lance up to speed after they exhausted three first-round picks and change to acquire the North Dakota State product No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize what’s happening here. San Francisco wants other teams to believe that it is perfectly fine with keeping Garoppolo rather than releasing him outright. The thought process has to be that some quarterback-needy organization comes calling or an injury pops up. It’s public negotiating 101.
With all of that said, it’s hard to believe that a team will actually bite and offer the 49ers anything of real substance for Garoppolo. His high cap figure coupled with injury issues and pedestrian play all add another element here.
Teams that had need at the quarterback position earlier this offseason ultimately looked in another direction. That included the Denver Broncos (Russell Wilson), Indianapolis Colts (Matt Ryan), Cleveland Browns (Deshaun Watson), Washington Commanders (Carson Wentz) and Carolina Panthers (Baker Mayfield).
The market for quarterback-needy teams is ultra thin. Despite Watson’s 11-game suspension, the Browns reportedly have no interest in Jimmy Garoppolo. The Houston Texans seem to be fine with Davis Mills under center. Meanwhile, the division-rival Seattle Seahawks believe that they are set with the combinatiin of Geno Smith and Drew Lock.
What does this mean? San Francisco’s brass wants to push a certain narrative through the media. In turn, other teams are rightfully skeptical of said narrative.
Regardless of what Shanahan and Co. say, Garoppolo will not be on the 49ers after final cuts on Aug. 31. take that to the bank.