At a time when momentum has been building toward a potential Jimmy Garoppolo trade before or during the draft, a hose has been turned on the possibility of a transaction of this kind, at least for now.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the chances of a Garoppolo trade during the draft are “remote.”
Here’s the full tweet from Schefter: “Multiple teams are expected to contact the 49ers today to inquire about the availability of QB Jimmy Garoppolo, per sources. But as of early this morning, the chances of him being traded are, in the words of one source, ‘remote.’ Let’s see if anything changes in next 72 hours.”
Here’s our analysis of the report.
First, the term “per sources” gets thrown around more and more often by reporters when, in reality, there’s a single source. In this case, the most likely source for the information in the tweet is agent Don Yee. (Schefter briefly served on the advisory board of Yee’s aborted Pacific Pro Football league.) Undoubtedly, Yee is the “one source” who described the chances of a trade as “remote.”
Second, Yee represents Garoppolo. Yee knows that no one will trade for Garoppolo’s $25 million compensation package, and that an adjustment of it will be needed. Yee knows that, with none of the money guaranteed, the 49ers most likely won’t agree to pay part of the salary to facilitate a trade. (It’s not an impossibility, since the 49ers could justify the financial investment by pointing to the draft-pick compensation they receive.)
With Garoppolo’s willingness or lack thereof to take a significant pay cut the key to any trade, Garoppolo’s agent is the source best situated to reliably declare that a trade is currently a “remote” possibility. Yee knows (or should know) which teams are seriously interested (the Patriots, Texans, and Bears are the most likely options) and what any interested teams would pay Garoppolo. If the number is in the range of $10 million (as it should be), Yee and Garoppolo may have decided to let it play out beyond the draft.
Third, “multiple teams” technically means “more than one.” And the report isn’t that those teams will contact the 49ers; the report is that they are simply expected to do so. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t.
Fourth, those potentially interested teams fall out of contention only if they address their quarterback situations in the draft. If they don’t, a trade remains a possibility later.
As Simms and I explained it on Thursday’s PFT Live, the 49ers — who are moving on from Garoppolo because of his inability to stay healthy — surely would like to avoid the risk of a Garoppolo injury during training camp or the preseason, since a season-ending snap, crackle, or pop would cost the team $24.1 million in base salary.
This makes the start of training camp the viable deadline for trading Garoppolo. The safest approach would be to trade Garoppolo before the start of OTAs, since some players have gotten themselves injured during these supposedly low-intensity practices.
The challenge for the 49ers and Garoppolo/Yee is simple. When is the right time to do a deal? While the 49ers could get more later if a starter elsewhere gets injured, the 49ers risk Garoppolo becoming the guy who gets injured. And while Garoppolo could get at or close to his $25 million if a contending team becomes desperate due to serious injury or worse, he risks getting nothing if he’s cut by the 49ers on the eve of the regular season, at a time when depth charts elsewhere are set.