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What if Jimmy Garoppolo plays hardball with the 49ers?

Things could get messy for the 49ers

Patience may be a virtue, but even the most patient among us have limits. In today’s Gold Standard podcast, Levin Black wondered what would happen if Jimmy Garoppolo and Don Yee’s patience ran out.

During his goodbye press conference on February 1st, Jimmy Garoppolo said all the right things about his time in San Francisco and how he and the team were working together for a graceful exit.

“As far as just the whole trade situation, John’s been very clear with it. I think they’re trying to do the best for me. I’m trying to do the best for them and we’re working together in that really haven’t made too much progress on it, but I think things will start happening here pretty quickly.”

That was a month and a half ago, and we still haven’t had any movement in terms of a trade. Considering all that they have endured over the past calendar year, Team Garoppolo’s understanding may be running out. What if Jimmy G. and Don Yee get tired of waiting? Levin laid out one scenario in today’s show:

“There’s no reason why they shouldn’t force the 49ers’ hand. Leak it that the 49ers have offers and they’re refusing to make the choice. They’re refushing to accept what they are, and they’re hoping it goes up. That would start the bad P.R.

Then a couple days later you leak what the offers were, then later you leak that Jimmy’s not happy. If you do that, the Niners have to shit or get off the pot. They’ve got to cut him or accept whatever the trade is. They can’t just sit there because once Watson is traded, you know what’s going to dominate the airwaves? The Jimmy Garoppolo saga because there’s nothing else left.”

That’s something I hadn’t previously thought of, but it could be a very real scenario soon. When the 49ers knew they couldn’t sign DeForest Buckner, they allowed his agent to find a deal that ultimately turned out to be a mid-first round pick. It’s highly likely that they did the same thing with Don Yee.

If Yee is a good agent (and he also represents Tom Brady, so you know that he is), he probably called every single team and got their offer for Jimmy Garoppolo, at least by the time of the NFL Combine. Once that research was done, it’s reasonable to assume he then gave those offers to Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch and told them to pick the best one.

While the 49ers certainly don’t have to accept those offers simply, they obviously haven’t done any better because Garoppolo is still on the team. If Yee starts leaking the offers that the 49ers didn’t accept, they’re going to get repeatedly bludgeoned by the media and fans. While you might not think that matters, it does.

Public perception of the 49ers matters to Jed York, and it matters to the culture that Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have spent half a decade building. They’ve fashioned the 49ers back into an organization that’s seen as classy and one that does things “the right way.” If Yee is out there airing their dirty laundry, a lot of that comes undone.

Are those consequences worth it just because you don’t love the offers that have come in so far? If Yee starts talking, that could be a question the 49ers have to ask themselves very soon.