San Francisco 49ers rumors: Have we seen the last of Jimmy Garoppolo?

By Vincent Frank
Sep 20, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) reacts while walking on the sidelines after injuring his ankle on the previous play during the first half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers rumors: Could team move on from Jimmy Garoppolo?

San Francisco 49ers rumors: Jimmy Garoppolo done?

Updated: Nov. 12, 4:00 PM EST

We’re now getting a new batch of San Francisco 49ers rumors, and it’s not great for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

According to Mike Sando of The Athletic, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Garoppolo will not return to the 49ers next season.

“I think he may be done in San Francisco,” an anonymous executive told Sando. “And if they keep him, it’s only because they don’t have another option.”

Top 49ers front office man Adam Peter was on hand to watch BYU quarterback Zach Wilson during a game last week. At the very least, this seems to suggest that San Francisco is looking in another direction.

While Wilson wouldn’t start immediately for a Super Bowl contending team, the 49ers’ interest tells us they are not sold on Garoppolo over the long term. That could suggest the team is looking at alternatives.

Update: Nov. 2, 7:31 PM EST

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo aggravated his high-ankle sprain during Week 8’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks and will miss at least six weeks. The Super Bowl signal caller is also headed to injured reserve and could very well miss the remainder of the 2020 NFL season. It will lead to rumors regarding Garoppolo’s status with the 49ers.

Garoppolo, 29, likely finishes the campaign having completed 67.1% of his passes for 1,096 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions in six stars.

We might have also seen the last of Garoppolo in a 49ers uniform. The team sits at 4-4 on the season and is highly unlikely to make the playoffs. Rumors will persist surrounding Garoppolo over the next several months leading up to the start of free agency in March.

Related: If you’re a fan of the 49ers, check out #NinerNation rumors, rankings, and news here.

49ers rumors: Financial implications of moving on from Jimmy Garoppolo

The veteran quarterback is set to count $26.9 million against the cap in 2021. San Francisco would save $24.1 million by either releasing or trading Garoppolo

49ers rumors: Options for San Francisco if it moves on from Jimmy Garoppolo

49ers trade for Matt Ryan

There’s a chance the rebuilding Falcons opt to trade Ryan during the spring. He’s currently playing under a five-year, $150 million contract and is set to count $40.9 million against the cap in 2021. San Francisco would, in turn, have to work out an extension for Ryan to lower his 2021 cap number. However, saving $24.1 million by moving on from Garoppolo helps.

Ryan, 35, has put up 2,462 yards with 12 touchdowns and four interceptions in eight starts this season. He also obviously has a built-in relationship with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. If Ryan were put on the trade block, expect rumors to link him to San Francisco.

49ers trade for Matthew Stafford

Pretty much a bargain-bin version of Ryan, Stafford is set to count $34.95 million against the cap in 2021. He’s also been pretty good this season. The Detroit Lions signal caller is completing 61.4% of his passes for 1,916 yards with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions in seven starts.

As with Ryan, there’s a chance Detroit opts to move on from Stafford during the offseason. If so, he’d make a lot of sense for the San Francisco 49ers in a trade.

Related: 2021 NFL mock draft – Blockbuster trades shake up 2021 NFL Draft.

San Francisco retains Nick Mullens as the starter

This former undrafted free agent has performed pretty well in Jimmy Garoppolo’s stead over the past few seasons. Back in 2018, Mullens put up 2,277 yards with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions after Garoppolo suffered a torn ACL. This season, the Southern Mississippi product has tallied 854 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions in four games (two starts).

Mullens, 25, is set to become a restricted free agent in March. He’d come a lot cheaper than other options, enabling the 49ers to use their limited financial resources to re-sign the likes of Trent Williams and Richard Sherman.

49ers trade for Kirk Cousins

San Francisco was obviously linked to Cousins during the early portion of Shanahan’s tenure with the team. That’s primarily because of his relationship with the embattled signal caller in Washington. Boy, how things have changed since.

Cousins is in the midst of a disastrous 2020 season that has seen him throw 12 touchdowns compared to 10 interceptions in seven starts. He’s not even a starter-caliber quarterback in the NFL right now.

Any move for Cousins would be done under the guise that Shanahan could help him turn his career around. Given his $31 million cap hit for the 2021 season, the Vikings would likely have to sweeten the pot by adding a top-round draft pick to move Cousins. They could also show interest in Jimmy Garoppolo.

49ers draft heir apparent to Jimmy Garoppolo

Under this scenario, Mullens or another signal caller would be a stopgap option for San Francisco. Sitting at 4-4 on the season, these 49ers are highly unlikely to be able to land the likes of Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields in the 2021 NFL Draft. Of course, that’s barring a trade up.

Instead, the focus could be on Trey Lance (North Dakota State) or Zach Wilson (BYU). Both are seen as prototypical quarterbacks, something Shanahan fancies. Looking specifically at Wilson, he’s a Heisman candidate for the Cougars right now. The junior is completing 74.6% of his passes for 2,152 yards with 19 touchdowns and two interceptions in seven games.

Previous update: Oct. 25, 2:19 PM EST

One season removed from a surprise appearance in the Super Bowl, Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers find themselves mired in mediocrity.

San Francisco enters Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots at 3-3. More than any other NFL team, the 49ers have dealt with myriad injuries this season. That includes Garoppolo, who missed two games with a high-ankle sprain.

We now have some more information on Garoppolo and his future with the 49ers. It’s rather interesting stuff.

Related: If you’re a fan of the 49ers, check out #NinerNation rumors, rankings, and news here.

49ers rumors: Team could move on from Jimmy Garoppolo?

“It’s wait and see. He’s (Garoppolo) still under evaluation. It could go in a few different directions, and is it possible he’s not the guy next year? That’s fair,” CBS Sports Jason La Canfora reported Sunday. “I don’t think that’s lost on anybody.”

A source close to the situation paints this picture. Does Kyle Shanahan want to exhaust $26.9 million in cap room on Garoppolo when the 49ers themselves are going to have a salary cap problem? Remember, future Hall of Famers Trent Williams and Richard Sherman are slated to become free agents. By either releasing or trading Garoppolo, the 49ers would save north of $24 million in cap room.

Related: NFL trade rumors

49ers news: How would a divorce with Garoppolo look like?

That’s the million dollar question right now. Despite his inconstancies, Garoppolo would be seen as an upgrade for over half the NFL. He’s a winner. He led the 49ers to the Super Bowl. This leads me to believe that they could net something for Garoppolo in a trade.

Jimmy Garoppolo contract situation

Jimmy Garoppolo of the 49ers against the Dolphins
October 11, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) jogs off the field after the game against the Miami Dolphins at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

That leads me to this point. Garoppolo signed a five-year, $137.5 million contract extension with the 49ers back in February of 2018. At that time, it made Garoppolo the highest-paid quarterback in NFL history.

However, the quarterback market continues to reset itself on a near-monthly basis. It was just this past offseason that Patrick Mahomes signed a 10-year extension with the Chiefs that could pay him north of $500 million. It’s in this that Garoppolo boasts the 11th-largest cap hit among NFL quarterbacks next season. That’s not too shabby for someone of his ilk.

Related: NFL quarterback power rankings

49ers rumors: Options if the team moves on from Garoppolo

It’s obviously all dependent on how the remainder of the 2020 season plays out for the 49ers. Garoppolo, 28, has been pretty darn solid for the team since they acquired him in a trade with the New England Patriots during the 2017 NFL season. He boasts an absurd 21-7 record as a starter and has thrown twice as many touchdowns (46) than interceptions (23).

Even then, it’s readily apparent that the 49ers are not yet sold on him as the long-term face of the franchise. If that’s the case, San Francisco has options.

In free agency, that would include former NFL MVP Cam Newton and potentially even Philip Rivers of the Indianapolis Colts. As for the trade market, Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford could potentially become available. There’s also a chance the 49ers go with either current backup Nick Mullens or make a move for one of the top quarterbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Either way, Garoppolo is not settled in as the 49ers’ long-term solution under center. He’ll have to prove himself once again over the next 10 games.

This story has been updated with a new video.