Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo Not Present at 49ers’ Team Activities as Trade Looms

by Patrick Norton

As the San Francisco 49ers move on from Jimmy Garoppolo’s four-year stretch as the starting quarterback, the team isn’t letting the 30-year-old anywhere near confidential information. While the onus currently lies with Garoppolo to find a trade, the team moves forward – unwelcoming to his presence.

The quarterback started just 45 games for the Niners over a span of 71 regular season matchups. Injuries and deteriorating physical ability plagued his career following a trade from the New England Patriots.

But the final nail in the coffin came when the organization selected Trey Lance third overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. One season later, the heir apparent to the starting throne is QB1 barreling toward the regular season.

That leaves GQ Jimmy in a precarious situation. He hasn’t found a team willing to accept his $27 million cap hit. But Garoppolo’s own team doesn’t want him around the facility. According to NBC Sports’ MMQB writer Peter King, the quarterback does not attend quarterback or team meetings and did not receive a playbook.

However, San Francisco’s shunning hasn’t led to a release because the team believes a trade path still exists. Garoppolo represents the best option for a long-term starting quarterback replacement in a pinch. When New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson suffered a non-contact knee injury in Friday’s preseason game, thoughts shifted toward head coach Robert Saleh’s former coaching home.

But Wilson only sustained a bone bruise and torn meniscus. While arthroscopic knee surgery is the next step for the Jets, the timetable only represents a two to four week absence. That means Garoppolo and his hefty price tag stay put in the Bay Area … for now.

Where Could Jimmy Garoppolo Land?

General manager John Lynch doesn’t appear concerned about trade developments. Leaving the obligation to find a new home to the quarterback allows the team to shift focus elsewhere.

However, without a clear picture as to what lies ahead for the two-time Super Bowl champion, this saga could drag out even longer. San Francisco made the team’s desires clear from the beginning: Garoppolo’s time in the Bay Area is over regardless of starting status.

But if the 49ers want off the hook for a $24.2 million guaranteed paycheck, Garoppolo must find a new home before the end of the preseason. While Seattle’s ‘battle’ between Geno Smith and Drew Lock rages on, trading a starting quarterback within the division is hardly outlandish. In fact, cutting the cap severely outweighs the two-game revenge series.

But Cleveland already has large plans to play the quarterback position even in the event of Deshaun Watson’s looming absence. Jacoby Brissett can handle the reins until the sexually deviant quarterback returns. And trading Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers eliminates another option.

To determine the likeliest landing spots, it comes down to a critical preseason week and unfortunate circumstances like injuries. All it means is San Francisco should prepare to get out the checkbook while Garoppolo enjoys his NFL Sunday from home like us.