The 49ers have wisely decided to stop pretending they might keep quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the 2022 season, opting instead to declare a In fact Fiery sale.
With the team now fully on Trey Lance, they’ll hunker down on Garoppolo and hope for a trade opportunity to materialize. If not, they’ll absolutely cut him off before week one, when his $24.2 million salary would otherwise become fully guaranteed as severance pay, under the collective bargaining agreement.
Along the way, the 49ers plan to keep Garoppolo out of practice (and, in turn, out of preseason games). This will eliminate the risk of Garoppolo suffering a season-ending injury, which would also lock in his salary as guaranteed.
“We don’t plan to train him with the team,” coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters Tuesday. “We’re going to take it day by day and talk to him constantly and hopefully find the best for both of us.”
But what’s best for the team may not be what’s best for Garoppolo. As the 49ers wait for a trade to materialize, time keeps ticking. If Garoppolo is finally cut as the regular season opener approaches, Jimmy G may be SOL when it comes to finding another job. If his goal is to play this year, now is the time to get on the market.
On Tuesday, general manager John Lynch was asked if Garoppolo had expressed a wish to be released.
“No, he didn’t have that,” Lynch said.
If Garoppolo had made that request, it seems the answer would be no.
Shanahan said on Tuesday, “[You] can’t just give away one of the best quarterbacks in the league just to make him available for no reason to the world.
However, they will eventually. The question is whether they are lucky through another team’s misfortune via injury.
There is another potential path. With the 49ers finally making it clear they are not trying to secure a second-day draft pick for Garoppolo, a team that has refrained from engaging in trade talks could take a flyer with an offer. late. Although Garoppolo’s contract is also set to be renegotiated, it’s entirely possible that a team that otherwise wouldn’t have been interested will see an opportunity to get Garoppolo at the right time.
By expressing hope that the situation will be resolved as soon as possible, Shanahan makes it even clearer that now is the time to make an offer to the 49ers.
Barring a quick trade, Garoppolo’s easiest move is to wait. But what if he’s willing to overturn his “nice guy” reputation and insist on having a fair chance to train in training camp and play in preseason? At some point, the union might get involved. Before that happens, however, Garoppolo should be willing to try and bring the situation to a head, making an effort to get on the pitch.