San Francisco is stuck with Jimmy Garoppolo for now.
If the 49ers release the veteran quarterback now, they will lose $7.5 million in possible cap savings due to the shoulder injury sustained against Dallas and the subsequent surgery. If they wait until Garoppolo can pass a physical, they could find a trade or release and free up $25.55 million in much-needed salary-cap space. Or the team could keep him on the roster.
As it currently stands, the Garoppolo contract hasn’t stopped San Francisco from filling out its roster. Only the top 51 contracts count against the salary cap during the offseason.
Garoppolo on the roster is another stumbling block toward getting a new contract for Deebo Samuel.
Even if Samuel would agree to accept a signing bonus of only $19 million, the bottom of the barrel for what top wideouts have received this offseason, the 49ers could not fit the deal under the salary cap. The only way to make this happen is if they were to move money from other players or restructure Garoppolo’s contract.
As you can see, the most cost-effective plan for the 49ers is to move on.
During an interview Monday afternoon with KNBR, 49ers general manager John Lynch was asked when the 49ers will have clarity on the situation with Jimmy Garoppolo. Lynch confirmed what most already suspected; the surgery killed trade talks for Garoppolo.
“That’s kind of a nebulous question,” responded Lynch, “because I felt like we were close on some discussions, and then the decision was made to have surgery, and that just brought things to a screeching halt. People just don’t do that, even with a likelihood that everything’s going to be good.”
Teams stepping away from trade talks makes complete sense for the other 31 teams in the NFL. After all, throwing the ball is kind of an essential ability for a quarterback to possess. Despite the injury, Lynch and the 49ers continue to hope they can get something in return for Garoppolo.
“We continue to get calls about Jimmy. One thing, we as a group got together and said, ‘he’s too good of a player. He’s got a lot of great tape out there, and you don’t just let guys like that walk out the door.’ We want to either have Jimmy playing for us, which we’re alright with, or we want him to get the value.”
“As for inflection points, probably once he starts throwing and stuff, I think people will feel more comfortable. And then, obviously, you need to let things play out for other teams. A lot of that was the draft. Now I think, just like we’re doing, everyone goes back and reevaluates the roster and sees where you’re at. Throughout the offseason and into training camp, injuries can happen as well.”
Carolina and Houston remain logical landing spots as trade partners for the 49ers, with the New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks being less likely. For San Francisco, they better hope someone comes through for them. If they have to cut Garoppolo down the road, this whole exercise will have been a complete waste of time.
Reports surfaced during the draft that San Francisco is still looking for a second-round pick in return for Garoppolo, and that seems about as likely as hitting it big on the slot machines in Vegas, the site of last weekend’s NFL Draft. Everyone in the NFL knows Garoppolo won’t be the starter in San Francisco, and Lynch confirmed as much yesterday.
“Jimmy’s a part of us. We’re excited about that, but I think we all know that Trey (Lance) is going to get the opportunity to go out there and play. He’s got to earn that, but we believe he’s in the process of doing that.”