A scenario that once seemed like a pipe dream now appears to be on the table.
49ers general manager John Lynch told reporters on Monday that he doesn’t foresee San Francisco cutting Jimmy Garoppolo, and that if they can’t trade him this offseason it’s likely he will be on SF’s roster in 2022.
“I don’t foresee that,” Lynch said of the 49ers cutting Jimmy G via Matt Maiocco. “He’s too good of a player. I don’t foresee that, and I think Jimmy will be playing for us or he’ll be playing for somebody else. He’s too good of a player not to be.”
That’s a bit of a shock to actually hear. If you watched Garoppolo’s farewell press conference, the idea of him returning to the 49ers in 2022 seemed like a complete non-starter. Not only did Garoppolo seem done with the situation, but San Francisco has Trey Lance — a QB they traded three first-rounders for — waiting in the wings.
Hypotheticals notwithstanding, finding a trade partner for Garoppolo is still the best-case scenario for the 49ers. Lynch says that Garoppolo’s shoulder surgery had a chilling effect on his market.
“There were a ton of conversations and I think there was real good momentum,” Lynch said. “Then, the decision that was made for Jimmy to have surgery certainly caused a lot of teams to pause and at least slow down the process to do their due diligence.
“The quarterback musical chairs is going on, and all along we understood that we really value Jimmy and never were we just going to give him away.”
If you take Lynch at his word, Garoppolo being in 49ers training camp seems like a real possibility. Most of the teams that would have been viable destinations for Garoppolo have filled their QB vacancies, and it would seem that San Francisco will need to wait for a QB injury in the preseason to offload Garoppolo and his $26.9 million cap hit.
“We were always going to hold true to what we thought his value was,” Lynch said. “Right now, we hold onto him. I think we’re fortunate we have three quarterbacks that we believe in, in Trey, Jimmy and Nate [Sudfeld]. Some people are looking for one. I think that’s a position of strength.”