Towards the end of the 2021 NFL season, and especially once the playoffs concluded, it became more and more evident that the San Francisco 49ers would look to trade starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and promote Trey Lance to the starting spot.
But a couple of weeks into free agency, nothing has happened.
Reportedly, the 49ers have had talks with other teams, but nothing has come close to materializing in terms of a deal.
Now, it’s starting to look more and more like Garoppolo will be on San Francisco’s roster once the 2022 season starts.
Clearly, fans and observers seem divided on what to do about the team’s quarterback controversy.
But there are some logical, good reasons for the Niners to hold on to Garoppolo.
3. The Market For Him Seems Sparse
The last couple of weeks have seen a number of teams who were looking for an upgrade at QB fill that hole.
In addition, Baker Mayfield, who may benefit from a change of scenery, is still available.
It all adds up to slim pickings as far as finding a team to consummate a Garoppolo trade with that could use a QB.
There are rumors that the Carolina Panthers are interested in him, but there is no indication that they have more than a superficial level of interest at this point.
The Niners have been rumored to be looking for multiple draft picks, possibly in the second round, in return for their incumbent signal-caller, and opposing teams may balk at that price.
There is no reason for San Fran to panic and accept less than market value for Garoppolo.
After all, he is at least a somewhat above-average QB, and he has taken the team to the NFC Championship Game in two of the last three seasons.
He also helped the 49ers reach Super Bowl LIV, where they had the upper hand on the Kansas City Chiefs before falling in defeat.
Jimmy Garoppolo is a proven winner who has led the 49ers to 2 NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl in the last 3 seasons. He has won like 70% of his games as the starting QB. He’s an amazing leader and his teammates love him.
Why don’t teams want to trade for him? pic.twitter.com/5odx1z0DyP
— CROCK-MAN⚡️ (@eric_crocker) March 21, 2022
2. Garoppolo Isn’t Healthy
Speaking of getting fair value for Garoppolo, it may not happen any time soon, given that he reportedly just had shoulder surgery and will not be able to perform any football activities for a while.
Any team that trades for him will want him to participate in OTAs in order to start to get used to his new teammates, coaches and offensive system.
That won’t really be possible.
Jimmy Garoppolo's offseason shoulder surgery could be a major roadblock to any plans the San Francisco 49ers had of trading the veteran quarterback.
— Eric👀Schefter (@EKaplan15) March 24, 2022
All this should certainly depress his value on the open market.
Once again, there is no reason for the 49ers to rush into trading him when they have a highly-regarded QB coming off his rookie year who may have superstar potential.
1. Trey Lance May Not Be Ready
If the 49ers do go ahead and deal Garoppolo, the million-dollar question is whether Lance, who was the third overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft, is ready to lead a team, especially one that is considered by most to be a Super Bowl contender.
Starting at QB for the Niners is a more high-pressure job than doing the same for most other teams.
Having Garoppolo around for one more season can ease that pressure while allowing Lance to learn at his own pace.
Additionally, Garoppolo is injury-prone, and if/when he gets injured this coming season, Lance will step in and get some real-life experience on the job.