Entering the 2022 NFL offseason, the San Francisco 49ers had a Jimmy Garoppolo-sized problem on their hands. For as good of a starting quarterback as he’s been the past few seasons, the 49ers front office and coaching staff made it clear after their NFC Conference Championship loss that No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance was their franchise QB of the future.
After all, the 49ers gave up three first-round picks for Lance. It would be foolish not to turn things over to him.
This means that the 49ers were exploring a trade for Garoppolo. However, fast forward to late March, and Garoppolo remains a member of the 49ers roster.
The 49ers missed their chance to trade Jimmy Garoppolo
There’s still a chance Garoppolo finds a new home between now and the start of the regular season. However, it’s worth pointing out that most of the likely landing spots for him have been filled by other options.
The Indianapolis Colts were a betting favorite to land Jimmy G for quite some time. Owner Jim Irsay had repeatedly emphasized the desire to have a veteran, mature QB under center — Garoppolo fits that description. However, unfortunately for San Francisco, the Colts were able to swing a trade for Matt Ryan following the fallout of the Deshaun Watson trade saga.
Ryan becoming available on the trade market was likely something the 49ers were unprepared for.
The Washington Commanders were another team expected to have an interest in Garoppolo. Washington was desperate for a new starting QB this offseason and reportedly called every single team in the NFL about trade possibilities. However, the Commanders settled on Carson Wentz pretty early in the offseason.
The Seattle Seahawks, post-Russell Wilson trade, could still be interested in a new QB1. However, that would require an inter-division trade between the 49ers and Seahawks. That’s unlikely.
After Seattle, there isn’t another team in desperate need of a veteran starting QB. The market for Garoppolo has seemingly vanished.
Jimmy Garoppolo’s shoulder surgery is to blame, and it could result in a full-blown release
Why did the trade market for Garoppolo never materialize? It could be partly due to a lack of urgency from the 49ers front office to get a deal done. However, Garoppolo’s offseason shoulder surgery is mostly to blame.
According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, Jimmy G’s shoulder surgery (on his throwing arm) scared teams away this offseason.
The problem arises from the full set of circumstances surrounding his situation. The biggest problem, as one league source explained it on Saturday, is the shoulder surgery Garoppolo underwent earlier this month. No one will trade for a quarterback with a $25 million compensation package after he underwent surgery to repair the labrum in his throwing shoulder, the source explained.Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
What next for the 49ers?
Unless something materializes in the coming days between the 49ers and a QB-needy team, it’s starting to look more and more like Garoppolo could be heading to free agency. This is a bad conclusion for San Francisco to arrive at. However, they’re running out of options.
Keeping Jimmy G on the roster to backup Lance could get ugly. It would create unwanted controversy between the two quarterbacks.
If Garoppolo does get released, it could prompt a few teams to take a closer look at adding him. Not giving up a draft pick makes Jimmy G a far more attractive QB option in 2022.