Jimmy Garoppolo listed as the starter on 49ers initial regular-season depth chart

Las Vegas Raiders v San Francisco 49ers
Getty Images

The preseason depth chart means nothing. The regular-season depth chart means everything. Or at least as close to everything as it can ever mean.

The 49ers released their Week One depth charter, and they have listed quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as the starter on the initial depth chart of the regular season. Rookie Trey Lance, who will have a package of plays, is the backup.

Given that Garoppolo, not Lance, will do the midweek press conerence, it was already assumed that Garoppolo will be the starter. But it’s still a little jarring to see Garoppolo not only on the team but also on the top of the depth chart, given that the team invested three first-round picks and a third-round pick to get Lance.

There’s another wrinkle to watch as Week One approaches. If, as it appears, coach Kyle Shanahan will keep the door open indefinitely for Lance to take over as the starter, the 49ers could still approach Garoppolo with an offer he can’t refuse.

With a $24.1 million salary that becomes guaranteed if he’s on the Week One active roster, the 49ers could still say to Garoppolo something like, “We’ve paid you a ton of money the past few years. We can’t justify guaranteeing you $24.1 million. How about $15 million, and you can make the rest in incentives? And if you don’t like that, well, good luck finding it somewhere else a few days before the start of the season.”

Why wouldn’t they? Football is business, and it would be good business to squeeze some cash and cap space that could be used elsewhere now or later from a guy who, if things work the way they’re supposed to work, will be on the bench before too long. If they proceed with a starter who inevitably will be the backup at a firm $24.1 million salary, that definitely won’t reflect a good and prudent business decision by the 49ers.

20 responses to “Jimmy Garoppolo listed as the starter on 49ers initial regular-season depth chart

  1. He’d be smart to accept a paycut because the O-Line is badly in need of depth. He can’t reliably run for his life if they have an injury.

  2. Yes, football is a business but a team screwing players in such a manner as described has consequences. Just ask the Texans. Nobody wants to sign with them.

  3. Patrick Mahomes was a backup his first year and he got a lot out of the experience. Seeing Trey Lance in the preseason, it looks like he’ll also be better off if he’s not thrown into the fire immediately.

    Garoppolo is a very good QB. Yes, he has injury issues. So have a lot of players who then overcame them. Danny Amendola, for example, was injury prone in his first years, but then he moved past that and became a stalwart. Garoppolo is a seasoned QB who took the 49ers to the Super Bowl. Is anybody else going to pay him $24M? No, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for the 49ers to threaten him. They might same $10M, but is that worth possibly having a de-motivated QB around? Better to have him play, setting him up for a trade later and allowing Trey Lance some more seasoning time.

  4. Garoppolo is a very good QB. Yes, he has injury issues. So have a lot of players who then overcame them. Danny Amendola, for example, was injury prone in his first years, but then he moved past that and became a stalwart. Garoppolo is a seasoned QB who took the 49ers to the Super Bowl. Is anybody else going to pay him $24M? No, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for the 49ers to threaten him. They might same $10M, but is that worth possibly having a de-motivated QB around? Better to have him play, setting him up for a trade later and allowing Trey Lance some more seasoning time.

    +++

    This times 1,000,000.

    Let the kid sit and learn. Jimmy G healthy equals wins, almost all the time. Not sure why so many people hate on this guy. Makes absolutely no sense. I love Trey Lance, I understand the reasoning, but would be nice for him to make appearances ever so often, and to go about 13-4 and win the NFC West.

  5. i feel like the 49ers could lose to anyone in the league as long as jimmy is starting. Let’s say that that Jim starts all year; i predict they finish around .500 and lose a handful of games vs teams they have no business losing to

  6. Sure, Lance is the inevitable starter, but what if that means next year, or even two years (which I know isn’t likely)? Garoppolo is a good QB, and we see every season where young QBs are rushed onto the field before they’re ready. If Lance is their guy, then they need to think of him as their guy for 10+ years.

    There’s much more to risk than gain by starting him before he’s ready.

  7. I hope he balls out this season and gains as much trade value as he can when he becomes available in the market.

  8. 49erstime says:

    September 8, 2021 at 7:29 am

    He’d be smart to accept a paycut because the O-Line is badly in need of depth. He can’t reliably run for his life if they have an injury.
    ———-
    And what depth would they bring in at this point? Any salary he gives up the majority of that unused cap they would roll into next yr when hes not even on the team and the rest would be to sign injury replacements during the year.

  9. Jimmy isn’t even in the top 10 for QB salary, Matt Ryan is 10th at $30 million. Asking players to give up $10 million in salary a couple days before the season starts will go over like a lead balloon, would be leaked to every media outlet, like this one, and would be disruptive and counterproductive. At this point they can ride out his manageable starter salary, and if he produces trade him (or keep him if he leads the team to the Super Bowl again), and if he gets hurt again ride out the year with the rookie and move on.

  10. “We believe in Jimmy, he’s a person we like a lot that we’re close to our team is, he’s also a guy that kind of played one season in the NFL and that one season was great year and he played at a very high level. He’s had some bad luck with injuries and now that we’re in this situation now it would be very hard for us and it would be disappointing if we didn’t have Jimmy.

    “If Jimmy is healthy, Jimmy’s working his butt off he’s here doing everything – it’s gonna be very hard for a rookie to come in and beat Jimmy Garoppolo out he’s a very good player.”

    “Jimmy’s our QB right now, and Trey’s gonna come in here, he going to compete and is probably going to do everything , the day that it looks like Trey can compete with him and he’s ready to go then we’ll know that’s’ our players will see that, and we won’t hesitate on that’s…..but that’s big task to do something like that as a rookie when we’re talking about somebody like Jimmy.”

    Kyle Shanahan quotes right after he drafted Trey Lance

    So basically if we have 2019 Jimmy we’re in good hands. If we have 2018, 2020 Jimmy then we have the future of the franchise ready to step in. Our Head Coach is happy that we have the future of the QB identified, and he is happy he doesn’t have to play him until he’s ready because we a good QB)when healthy) on the roster.

  11. The Lions have no MLB. You could start an armadillo in a top hat at QB and Kittle will still go for 150 and 2.

  12. Apparently, must not have seen him play, when he wasn’t injured, in preseason. He made one great pass, the rest he is late on the throws. Lance still needs to adjust to the speed of the game, he is nowhere near ready to play now. If they start him now they are throwing away this season and with the O-line as bad as it is Lance would be lucky not to get Burrowed.

    Jimmy is the only option and it would be really stupid to try to squeeze him for money (this like certain other teams would clearly show free-agents to avoid at all costs or ask for nearly fully guaranteed salaries). Jimmy would simply need to call the bluff since the Niners don’t have another NFL capable starter on the roster, which the GM and Coach know.

  13. realisticlionsfan says:

    September 8, 2021 at 8:54 am

    i feel like the 49ers could lose to anyone in the league as long as jimmy is starting. Let’s say that that Jim starts all year; i predict they finish around .500 and lose a handful of games vs teams they have no business losing to
    ——————-
    In the regular season jimmy g is 24-8 in his career which is a long ways off from finishing around .500 or losing games he shouldnt. So what are you basing these assumptions on?

  14. Why would they give Jimmy G an ultimatum like that? Seems ridiculous. If players are supposed to hold up their end of a contract, so should a team. Both parties agreed to this contract. Honor it. That’s why you don’t do some weasel move like that. Every agent/player in the league would think twice about signing with a franchise that shady. On the flip side, you honor the contract, you’ll earn the respect of said players/agents. Jimmy G is absolutely loved in that locker room. And the Niners don’t need the cap space. Why create locker room drama just to save a few bucks? Seems like something Daniel Snyder would do…look where it got that franchise.

    Players and teams alike need to honor contracts. Period.

  15. Sunday Swami says:
    September 8, 2021 at 11:17 am
    realisticlionsfan says:

    September 8, 2021 at 8:54 am

    i feel like the 49ers could lose to anyone in the league as long as jimmy is starting. Let’s say that that Jim starts all year; i predict they finish around .500 and lose a handful of games vs teams they have no business losing to
    ——————-
    In the regular season jimmy g is 24-8 in his career which is a long ways off from finishing around .500 or losing games he shouldnt. So what are you basing these assumptions on?

    +++

    Maybe on the fact that he likes another NFC West team? And can’t admit the 49ers didn’t win the West last year ONLY BECAUSE they had the most people on the IR than any NFL team in history?

  16. Could have drafted Mac Jones instead the 49ers traded away multiple draft and are exactly where they were last year. Starting with Jimmy G.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.