It’s something that has been talked about for months, especially since the team gave up plenty of capital in order to move up in last year’s NFL draft and take North Dakota State QB Trey Lance.
Garoppolo is a solid signal-caller, and should the Niners actually trade him, they could potentially receive some significant value for him.
The Case For Trading Jimmy G
When Garoppolo was traded to San Fran in 2017 by the New England Patriots, the Niners felt they were getting their franchise QB for years to come, especially given that he was Tom Brady‘s backup for three years.
Just two years later, Garoppolo took the Niners to the Super Bowl, where they blew a lead against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
He is certainly an above-average QB, and at worst, he can be a very good placeholder for a team that needs an upgrade at that position.
— NFL Stats (@myNFLstats) March 14, 2022
But after he couldn’t come through in crunch time in the Rams in January, it is clear that Garoppolo gives his team a glass ceiling that isn’t high enough to hold the Vince Lombardi trophy.
The 49ers have one of the most talented teams in the NFL, and most of their key players are young. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel made the All-Pro First-Team and has proven to be a unique player. He often lines up as a running back, which has led to him calling himself a “wide back.”
This week, they signed cornerback Charvarius Ward, who should shore up the team’s porous secondary.
At some point soon, Lance has to play and go through his inevitable growing pains. He may be somewhat raw, but in two starts this past season, he showed promise as a QB who can connect on the long ball and gain yardage with his legs when no other option presents himself.
There’s only so much a young signal-caller like him can learn while sitting on the sideline and holding a clipboard. The Niners will have to eventually throw him into the water and see if he will drown, or if he will ride the waves like a pro.
The Biggest Reason The 49ers May Hold On To Jimmy G
Garoppolo may be an attractive target for teams that need a starting QB, but the list of teams that fit that description is shrinking.
The Cleveland Browns just traded for Deshaun Watson, the Denver Broncos now possess Russell Wilson, the Pittsburgh Steelers opted to acquire Mitchell Trubisky and Carson Wentz is now a Washington Commander.
Wentz’s former team, the Indianapolis Colts, were supposedly interested in Garoppolo, but that interest may be cooling off.
The market for Garoppolo just doesn’t look great right now.
Last week: “There’s a viable trade market for Jimmy Garoppolo”
This week: pic.twitter.com/G8ckie2xGd
— 49ers Gab (@49ersGab) March 15, 2022
Making matters more complicated is the fact that he suffered a shoulder injury during the wild card round against the Dallas Cowboys and will not be able to throw a football for 16 weeks following surgery.
He has always been an injury-prone player, which lowers his value a bit.
In the long run, the Niners’ best bet may be to keep him for one more year, let Lance spend another season learning on the sideline and while filling in if/when Garoppolo gets hurt, and try again to trade Garoppolo next offseason when there may be more potential suitors.