We’re seeing discussions where analysts doubt 49ers quarterback Trey Lance because Jimmy Garoppolo is on the roster. However, both John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan have told us that the team can hold onto Garoppolo and “foot the bill” for his $24.2 million base salary this offseason.
NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco shared his thoughts on the 49ers QB situation after rookie minicamp:
“If the 49ers do not view Garoppolo as the starter, it seems absurd they would keep him on their roster when they could redirect his team-high salary to such players as Deebo Samuel and Nick Bosa.
Garoppolo would be well within his rights to ask for his release sooner than later in order to provide him with the best opportunity to land with a team that gives him a better chance at a future beyond the upcoming season.”
Matt talked about Jimmy asking for his release from the team once he’s healthy if the 49ers aren’t willing to turn the quarterback position into a battle. For one, why would they? The time is now to see what you have in Lance.
For Garoppolo, if Trey beats him out — which looked like it would be the case last season before Lance suffered a finger injury during the preseason — then Jimmy has zero leverage. Garoppolo doesn’t get a penny from the Niners if he’s not on the roster come Week 1. There are no guarantees in his contract.
Asking for a release allows Garoppolo to pick his team, but there’s no telling who would want his services. We’re a couple of months away from these decisions taking place, but the 49ers asking Garoppolo to take a significant pay cut seems like the most likely scenario.
Maiocco’s point about using Garoppolo’s salary on extensions for players who are in the team’s future plans is something everyone has mentioned. Because the Niners can absorb Jimmy’s contract, it doesn’t mean it’s in their best interest.
Per Over the Cap, the 49ers don’t have enough cap space as of today to sign Drake Jackson, let alone their entire draft class. The team has just over $673,000 in cap space. They’ll need to get creative to sign their rookies if they plan on keeping No. 10.