Lost in Kyle Shanahan declaring the 49ers Trey Lance’s team was the significance of Jimmy Garoppolo’s physical Tuesday. Jimmy passing a physical not only accelerates the 49ers trading him but also lets the team off the hook for the injury clause in Garoppolo’s contract.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday night that Garoppolo passed his physical and won’t be placed on the PUP list. In lieu of that transaction, the Niners won’t need to pay Garoppolo the $7.5 million injury guarantee.
There’s no denying that played a critical factor in holding onto Garoppolo. Now, the Niners can release or trade Garoppolo and reap the savings of his base salary, which is $24.2 million — though they’d be on the hook for $1.4 million in dead money.
We’ve talked about the 49ers potentially eating any of Garoppolo’s money to help facilitate a trade, but that’s unnecessary given that he has no guarantees remaining on his contract.
Shanahan was adamant that the team wouldn’t let Garoppolo go without any compensation in return and reiterated how comfortable he was being patient and allowing the Garoppolo saga play out Tuesday:
“I think it was made a lot harder with the surgery. I think that’s why everyone knows the situation we’re in. And we understand that, so we’re not trying to kid ourselves or play any game. I think the whole league understands that. But you also can’t just give one of the better quarterbacks in the league just to make him available for no reason to the whole world. And the good thing is you can have those conversations with Jimmy and he understands that too, so we’re going to try to do the best for both sides. But there’s things we have to work through. And it starts with getting the physical today by our doctors, which I expect that to go well, just like it did with his doctor. And then we’ll see how fast this goes.”
That sounds like a coach that expects any talks surrounding his former starting quarterback to heat up quickly.
Of course, Shanahan would never come out and say the team will outright release Jimmy. That’d be a disservice to the Niners. Eventually, a decision must be made. I don’t think the 49ers brass let this linger for much longer. And with an injury guarantee no longer standing in the way of a potential release, that’s an option that’s on the table.
Releasing Garoppolo might come off the wrong way on social media, but it’d be doing Jimmy a favor. The 49ers would allow Garoppolo to select his destination.
Shanahan stated Tuesday that despite Garoppolo being cleared to practice, he’s in a throwing program that’ll take place on the side and not at the team’s practice: “We don’t plan on practicing him with the team. We’ll take it day-by-day and constantly talk with him and hopefully can figure out the best for both.”
Do you believe Shanahan when he says the team won’t release Garoppolo?