They were trying to trade it. They may have missed the window to maximize the return. So what will Team 49 do with the midfielder? Jimmy Garoppolo?
It’s a complicated situation, to put it mildly. He is set to earn over $25 million in the final year of his current contract. He is recovering from shoulder surgery. Last year, the 49 players invested in three first- and third-round picks Tree Lance. They also awarded a one-year contract worth $2 million Nate Sudfelda clear indication that it’s probably a Lance backup.
We’ve heard that the 49 players were telling interested teams that they had a bid for two second-round picks. If they did, they should have taken it. If they did, they certainly wouldn’t have it now.
At some point, they may not have any. Even if they did, is it a team Garoppolo would want to join? If the new team wanted him to extend his contract as part of the deal, would he refuse? He has influence.
So do the 49ers. With no money guaranteed, they could squat on him even on the eve of the start of the regular season, waiting to get injured elsewhere to create an immediate need for Garoppolo or eventually cut him off.
And the faster they move forward, the faster they clear $25 million from cover space. This can be transferred to other players who got second deals, like Nick Bossa And the Debo Samuel. They will also officially begin the process of convincing the rest of the locker room to pivot from the famous Garoppolo to Lance.
There is another possibility. They can keep it. They can even redo his deal to convert some of the money he’s scheduled to earn into incentives, based on playing time and/or performance. Let him compete. If he’s better than Lance, let him play.
Lance is the great unknown in this analysis. Only coach Kyle Shanahan knows if he’s ready to catch Lance. If it’s Shanahan, bye Jimmy. If Shanahan has doubts, and if they can’t get a good return for the Garoppolo, they might keep it for another year.
However, there are not many open seats on the center carousel. Texas stands out the most. Cheetahs are still not stable. Hawks are a possibility too. The Seahawks could be a destination, if the 49ers are willing to trade him in the division.
It’s definitely a mystery for the 49ers. With the league over the next few days in Florida for its first in-person annual meetings since 2019, perhaps the 49ers can finally find a willing recipient for Garoppolo, at an acceptable price. If not, the next step is anyone’s guess.
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