Wasn’t 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo supposed to have been traded by now?
The answer to that question, as 49ers fans know, is yes. But for a variety of reasons, he’s still in San Francisco, even as QB Trey Lance is waiting to take over on offense and with Garoppolo’s hefty salary on the books.
The largest reason for Garoppolo’s overstay is an injury that has him out of commission until the summer. Plus, the free-agent quarterback market in the NFL hasn’t played out in the 49ers’ favor, with fewer teams than expected clamoring for signal-callers.
So general manager John Lynch broke the news to fans from the NFL owners’ meetings on Monday, and coach Kyle Shanahan backed him up on Tuesday, saying there’s a “scenario” in which Garoppolo stays on the roster all season.
Shanahan went even further, saying that if Lance and Garoppolo were both on the roster next season, he’s not ready to name a starter.
Wow. I’m looking at the calendar, and are we sure it’s March? This “who’s the starter” talk went on nearly every week last season.
But for some added insight along those lines, here’s a nice tidbit from ESPN’s Nick Wagoner. He points out that Shanahan is in constant contact with one of his current quarterbacks. And the other? Not so much.
The most encouraging part of Wagoner’s insight is that Lance is focused on learning how to play QB in the NFL. He’s young, and you never know, especially with all of these distractions.
But I think it’s a safe bet that the 49ers would love to unload Garoppolo. Lance represents a hefty investment, in the form of draft capital, and he’s the QB of the future. And Garoppolo makes way too much money to be a backup. But Lynch doesn’t want to release him and get nothing in return.
So, we’ll wait. Though Lance isn’t waiting for permission to take charge and talk to his coach often. And Garoppolo apparently isn’t holding his breath, either. It is March after all, and this has to be settled by the season’s start, doesn’t it? As I said, we’ll have to wait.