If not for surgery on his right shoulder on March 8, Jimmy Garoppolo likely already would have a new home. The 49ers were receiving interest from other teams before news of the surgery.
Now, with Garoppolo rehabbing in Los Angeles and unlikely to be cleared for throwing until sometime this summer, his future is in limbo.
“There were certainly various discussions with different places in terms of how far along. . . .That certainly threw a wrench in those things,” 49ers General Manager John Lynch said Monday. “You adapt and you move forward. Like we said, we like the things that Jimmy brings to the table. We’re doing what we think is best for our team and for Jimmy by keeping him with us for right now.”
Garoppolo has a non-guaranteed compensation package of $25 million in the final year of his contract. Lynch said the 49ers aren’t going to cut Garoppolo, who then would be free to sign anywhere, including with the quarterback-needy Seahawks.
“Guys like that don’t fall out of trees,” Lynch said. “He’s a good player at a position where they’re hard to find. You certainly just don’t give guys like that away and we can, I guess, foot the bill if you want to describe it as that. We’ll be patient with that one.”
The 49ers traded up to draft Trey Lance with the third overall selection in 2021. Lance is expected to take over the starting job this season after Garoppolo started 15 of 17 games last season. So, $25 million for a backup quarterback is not ideal, and neither is having Lance looking over his shoulder at Garoppolo.
The 49ers, though, might not find a trade partner until some team loses a starter to an injury. But it’s probably a good bet that Garoppolo doesn’t finish this season in San Francisco.