As the NFL preseason nears, speculation about San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s future continues. On Tuesday, NBC Sports Bay Area 49ers beat writer Matt Maiocco stopped by KNBR to talk Niners and was asked where he saw Garoppolo ending up this season. Despite Maiocco’s years of experience, even he seemed unsure of where the longtime 49ers starter would end up.
Maiocco reiterated what many others around the league have suggested: the least likely scenario is the 49ers keeping Garoppolo on the roster this season. Maiocco pointed out how difficult last season was for Jimmy with Trey Lance lurking in the background, and retaining Garoppolo would force the same difficult situation onto Lance.
Maiocco also pointed out that 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan still is publically saying he thinks San Francisco will be able to trade Garoppolo before the start of the season, but Maiocco said, “I think that’s probably trying to speak it into existence,” adding, “I think it’s a longshot that any team would trade for him and take on that contract at this point in the offseason.”
The most noteworthy quote was Maiocco’s statement, "I can’t see him right now being a starting quarterback for any team.” He pointed out he thinks Garoppolo is deserving of a job, saying, “To me, he’s a starting NFL quarterback. I think clearly one of the top-25 quarterbacks in the league, if not a little bit better than that... but most of the teams, I can’t imagine they’re thinking, ‘all we need is Jimmy Garoppolo, and we can compete for a Super Bowl,’ I don’t think that’s the case.”
Hopefully, for the 49ers, Maiocco will be proven wrong in the coming months. However, if Garoppolo is not at the top of another team’s depth chart soon, it means the 49ers will probably be forced to release Garoppolo for nothing or hamstring their salary cap situation by keeping him on the roster another year.