San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo emerged as the likeliest NFL trade candidate to be moved at the start of the offseason. Less than a month before the 2022 NFL Draft, the franchise might face a difficult decision with its veteran still on the roster.
Garoppolo, who is 25-12 as a starter since 2019, finds himself on shaky ground after a wild NFL quarterback carousel. Most of the teams who wanted to upgrade at signal-caller have already landed their target. Meanwhile, clubs who missed out are now focused on seeing how the NFL Draft shakes out.
- Jimmy Garoppolo stats (2021): 68.3% completion rate, 3,810 yards, 20-12 TD-INT, 98.7 QB rating
It’s one of the primary factors causing the trade market for Garoppolo to dry up. Just as problematic for San Francisco, the 30-year-old quarterback needed to undergo shoulder surgery this offseason and it’s caused worry around the league.
The 49ers are still holding out hope for a deal. Garoppolo is a starting-caliber passer with postseason experience, something that makes him a valuable asset. Unfortunately, the combination of factors that led to him still being in San Francisco at this point could force a difficult decision.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the likeliest outcome right now could be Garoppolo being cut later this year. It’s the educated conclusion reached by an NFL executive, citing sentiment from around the league regarding teams not wanting to trade for an injured quarterback owed $25 million.
Will the San Francisco 49ers cut Jimmy Garoppolo?
This isn’t a decision San Francsico will rush into making. Injuries happen and one starting quarterback going down would suddenly create new trade opportunities for the 49ers. Of course, that also means rostering a player with a $26.95 million cap hit who the team intends to sit behind Trey Lance this fall.
The 49ers do need to create room to sign their 2022 draft class. Currently sitting just $2 million under the cap, per OvertheCap.com, cutting Garoppolo would provide significant financial relief ($25.5 million savings).
- Jimmy Garoppolo career stats: 33-14 record, 11,852 yards, 71-38 TD-INT, 98.9 QB rating
With that said, it would still be a huge surprise if Garoppolo is cut. The 49ers reached a Super Bowl and two NFC Championship games with him as the starter. If Lance struggles or gets hurt in 2022, San Francisco knows it has a viable starter who can help this team compete for an NFC title.
If a trade doesn’t come to fruition by training camp, the 49ers are far more likely to keep Garoppolo on the roster. At that point, he can compete for the starting job with Lance in a battle that should get the most out of both quarterbacks.
Whenever an injury strikes, the 49ers will have the best passer available for a team that needs immediate help. If nothing ever happens, San Francsico can receive a compensatory pick after Garoppolo signs with a new team next year.