With Jimmy Garoppolo, time is on the 49ers’ side

Super Bowl LIV - San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs
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On Friday, an unnamed 49ers source told ESPN, “Jimmy [Garoppolo] is here to stay. He’s our guy this year.”

On Monday, coach Kyle Shanahan and G.M. John Lynch met with reporters to discuss the decision to trade up from No. 12 to No. 3 for a quarterback. Neither said that Garoppolo is “here to stay” or that “he’s our guy this year.”

With no payments due to Garoppolo and no guarantees vesting until Week One (when Garoppolo’s salary for 2021 becomes fully-guaranteed, as a practical matter), the 49ers have time. They need time. They need to see whether whoever they take with the third pick in the draft is ready to go. If he is, the 49ers can make a move before Garoppolo’s $25 million compensation package can’t be avoided.

Shanahan made it clear that a trade is a possibility. Some would say they’re posturing for a trade (and they are).

“We’re not there yet right now and odds are, we probably won’t be,” Shanahan said. “That’s why we’re happy that we don’t have to be that way. We’ve got a guy in here who we know we can win with, a guy that our players love, that we love and we’re excited to have him this year and we’re excited to have a hell of a quarterback right behind him learning for when the time is his.”

When is the time his? It’s up to him. If he can show he’s ready, he’ll be the guy when Week One rolls around.

Regardless, it’s clear that, eventually, Garoppolo will be gone.

“It’s not like, we’re not giving up on Jimmy because he can’t play or anything,” Shanahan said. “Jimmy can play. He’s only gotten to do it one year. We also like the person, too. We also know we can’t go through a year of what’s happened two out of the last three years. So, that’s something we had to protect the organization with, and there’s lots of ways to go into that, but it wasn’t just a slam dunk decision on this guy can play, this guy can’t play. You’ve got a lot of options and you’re in a lot of different spots to acquire those and how does it all balance out? Trust me, I mean, my wife, when she listens to my phone calls with John when we’re trying to be on vacation, she thinks we’re having the same conversation eight times a day and we kind of are because we’re just circling through all this stuff. The first time I woke up with a little bit more clarity is when we made this trade, because it’s still not done like exactly where we’re going and stuff, but it was like, ‘All right, now it’s much more clear.’ There’s not as many dots to connect.”

One dot that doesn’t need to be connected is this: Garoppolo may react to the trade for the player who will supplant him in a way that helps him, and the team.

“I’m sure Jimmy was a little pissed off from it, just like I would be, too, but me knowing Jimmy, he’ll be fired up and come in and he’ll work his butt off,” Shanahan said. “Knowing Jimmy, the more mad Jimmy gets, usually the better he gets. So, if Jimmy just gets madder and he stays healthy, I mean, this is going to be a good thing for Jimmy, too, which could be a great problem for the 49ers.”

The best problem for the 49ers would be for Mac Jones or whoever they take at No. 3 to get up to speed quickly and for another team to develop a need at quarterback, allowing the 49ers to flip Garoppolo for value. In 2016, for example, a fluke injury to Teddy Bridgewater in late August opened the door for the Eagles to get a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick for quarterback Sam Bradford, opening the door for Carson Wentz to start as a rookie.

As long as the 49ers are willing and able to carry Garoppolo’s $25 million cap number throughout the offseason, training camp, and the preseason, they can bide their time and wait for: (1) the rookie to show that he’s ready; and (2) an opportunity to trade Garoppolo to arise. At some point, the 49ers also can go to Garoppolo and say, “Look, we can’t pay you $25 million this year. We just can’t. We need you to take a lot less, or we’re just going to release you and go with the rookie.”

If that ultimatum comes late enough in August, Garoppolo may have no choice other than to take $12 million or $15 million or whatever amount less than $25 million his performances and availability of the last three years justifies. Thus, for now, the best move for the 49ers is to love the one they’re with, and hope that they’ll love the one they’re about to draft even more.

21 responses to “With Jimmy Garoppolo, time is on the 49ers’ side

  1. As I pointed out before, Shanahan is not playing a rookie QB this year. PERIOD.

    It took Matt Ryan two years to learn and be comfortable with Shanahan’s complicated playbook. Even Ryan admitted he was overwhelmed in the first year, and this was a veteran QB.

    Depending on how he plays, Garoppolo realistically can be in San Fran for two more seasons as his contract is pretty affordable now. Whichever QB they draft will need to adjust to the pro speed, learn a very complicated Shanahan system and do this without every day practice reps. That could mean 2-3 years on the bench like Aaron Rodgers, Steve Young and Philip Rivers.

  2. Jimmy is new in town. Jimmy doesn’t really know anyone. Jimmy would like to get to know you.

  3. If I were Jimmy G, I’d publicly demand a trade and hold out. He’s getting screwed iver by San Fran and this is the only way to get any control of the situation.

  4. I remember Matt Ryan talking about the two year deal in Shanahan’s system but you’re ignoring the RG3 season. Shanahan will absolutely adjust his system for whichever QB he has available.

    The league isn’t even comparable to when Steve Young, Rodgers and Rivers came in. If you want to use that example then Mahomes would be the guy to use. Jimmy is hurt constantly so whether he stays or goes this rookie will be playing in 2021.

  5. 49ers fans are desperately hoping that they don’t start a rookie QB. The dynamics of the NFL has changed. They can and will start a rookie QB.

  6. In 2016, for example, a fluke injury to Teddy Bridgewater in late August opened the door for the Eagles to get a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick for quarterback Sam Bradford, opening the door for Carson Wentz to start as a rookie.

    Imagine if Wentz learning behind Bradford for a year would have made a significant difference in Wentz’s development? We will never know, but Eagles brass would gladly trade their two picks: Derek Barnett and Darnell Pumphrey if it meant not taking a $30+ million dead cap hit and wasting a second round pick on Hurts.

  7. All Jimmy has to say is Pay me or Release Me.

    He will be picked up and paid by another team in a week, regardless if its in June, July or August.

    He has proven he can play at a high level. If Carson Wentz can get healthy and stay healthy so can Jimmy G.

  8. Josh Rosen is there and ahead of whoever they draft.

    Weird to think it’s not a wasted year renting a guy to be a placeholder when you can do it with Rosen.

    You are paying a lot of money to a guy who isn’t buying in.

  9. Jimmy is the starter. 49ers aren’t starting a rookie. Writers can write whatever they want, but it’s not happening.

  10. Jimmy is screwed. Next will come the pay cut! Insult to injury. He’s a good kid and he should be allowed to move on. I hope the 49ers do right by him and make a trade. He doesn’t deserve this! If the 49ers have any class at all they should let Jimmy pursue his dream with another team.

  11. What was his injury history in college? He was a dual threat guy who got hit a lot. The ACL is just that, lots of guys get that. High ankle sprain typically happens when getting twisted while planted and is bad luck. Barring a prior history of injuries, I stick with a SB QB, vs an unproven rookie out of Bama or ND State. I also keep him over the BYU guy with an injury history of his own.

    Draft OL and get back to the NFCCG again.

  12. Except Jimmy has a 24 mil salary and a no trade clause. That will limit what and who can take him. So they are not going to be able to wait till week 1. If they are going to trade him they will need a partner with space and one he likes. He will either be gone by the end of the draft or he will be the starter.

  13. Jimmy G is on the 4th year of a 5 year contract. Not sure where this “one-year-rental” nonsense is coming from. 49ers will keep him as long as he keeps winning.

  14. Frisco traded up to buy insurance for Jimmy G., not to get rid of him. They want a better backup for Jimmy G. than CJ Beathard and Nick Mullens. No rookie quarterback has ever won the Super Bowl. Cutting Jimmy G. will virtually guarantee that the 49ers will not win Super Bowl 54 in 2021. Is that what Jed York, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan want? Saving $25 mil but throwing away the season? No of course. That is why they are sticking with Jimmy G. instead of cutting or trading him. They want to win the Super Bowl. Winning is not everything, but it is what Jed York wants.

  15. I think people are over-thinking this situation. The 49ers got burned because of the talent drop off between the #1 and #2 QB’s and, obviously, the #1 got hurt and wrecked their season. They believe they have a championship-quality team and need a hedge against injury. Hence, Jimmy G. will be the starter. If the team falls in love with the new guy and dumps #10 and he gets hurt? Same deal, different player. Of course it’s a deal that hurts the weakest part of the team because of the salaries at QB prevent signing players to shore that up.

  16. The 49ers aren’t drafting mac jones with the #3, it will be whoever the Jets don’t draft, maybe fields or wilson.
    They aren’t going to throw away $25 million on garoppolo. He will be cut in August.
    If he holds out or mouth’s off cut him the day before the season starts do he can’t get a job.
    He has been well paid, it’s not like he was mistreated. He underperformed, do he’ll be cut.

  17. If Jimmy G. can win a Super Bowl or 2 before his contract expires, the 49ers will have a difficult decision to make. Do they pay him 40-50 mil a year or do they gamble that the quarterback they will draft in 2021 can replace him. Paying a quarterback that much money can make it hard to build a competitive roster, reducing the chance of winning more Super Bowls, but letting a Super Bowl winning QB go would not be a very popular decision with fans. I can remember many 49er fans abandoning the 49ers when Joe Montana signed with the Chiefs, and they only came back after Steve Young won the Super Bowl in 1995.

  18. If I were Jimmy the hold out starts NOW. Demand a trade/release, BEFORE they demand a pay cut

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