It’s been a while since Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio has spoken about the San Francisco 49ers. It’s probably been two whole weeks. Florio was back at it Tuesday discussing whether or not the 49ers would eventually release quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Releasing Garoppolo would mean that the 49ers have already found another quarterback under contract while the team was unable to find a team willing to trade for Garoppolo. A lot would have to unfold for the team to release Garoppolo. The one way I could see it happening is if other teams knew the 49ers didn’t have a choice and were going to move on from Jimmy.
Even then, it’s a quarterback-hungry league, and there will be suitors for Jimmy Garoppolo. He’s a starter in the NFL. The reason that we’re having this discussion is Jimmy at his current cap number, which brings us back to Florio:
Most presume he’ll be traded. But here’s the question: If the 49ers don’t want to keep Garoppolo at the balance of his current contract, who would trade for the thing?
Garoppolo has a total compensation package of $25.5 million for 2021 and $25.6 million for 2022. If he were a free agent, would anyone offer him $50.1 million over two years? It’s doubtful.
It’s doubtful because he hasn’t proven he can stay healthy. He missed 23 games over the last three seasons. Dating back to 2016, when he had a four-game audition during Tom Brady’s #Deflategate suspension, Garoppolo got injured in the second game.
So here’s my prediction: the 49ers won’t eventually roll the dice with Garoppolo again, not at his current contract. And since they won’t be able to trade the contract, they’ll eventually cut Garoppolo — taking a cap charge of only $2.8 million.
Who knows whether this is true or not, but to pretend that it’s not a scenario would be naive. Also, Florio works nonstop with Chris Simms, Kyle Shanahan’s best buddy. For all we know, the two are having conversations about the Niners. This wouldn’t be the first time this conversation has happened, either. NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco mentioned the topic on 49ers Talk on Monday.
During the coming months, we’ll find out how valuable the 49ers feel Jimmy G has been to their teams' success. San Francisco will also consider Garoppolo’s contract and all of the intangibles he brings to the locker room. If Jimmy is on the team after the draft, then the team agrees that he’s the best option moving forward.
If the 49ers go in a different direction than Garoppolo this offseason, that would require them to give up premium future draft capital. So they’ll ask themselves, “are Jimmy, and future first-round picks more valuable than my Plan B.” On the other side of the coin, you ask yourself if you are 1000% not only getting an upgrade but guaranteeing you’ll be a playoff contender as you free up cap space.
There’s a risk, and there’s also the unknown. Plus, it’s never easy to give up premium draft picks. That’s how you build your foundation. We will find out soon enough how the 49ers feel about their quarterback situation.