PALM BEACH, FL – With the expectation that trade will be imminent and Tree Lance He will take the position of midfielder for the starting team, Jimmy Garoppolo He seemed certain at his February 1 press conference that he would be his last as a member of the San Francisco 49ers.
Nearly two months later, Garoppolo is still with the 49ers, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon. Speaking at the NFL owners’ meetings at The Breakers Hotel, Niners general manager John Lynch made it clear that he did not envision a scenario in which Garoppolo would be fired.
“I don’t expect that,” Lynch said. “He’s a very good player. I think Jimmy will play for us or someone else. He’s a very good player.”
Which means that the only path the Niners see for a divorce with Garoppolo this off-season must involve a market that has yet to materialize. On Monday, Lynch offered some thoughts on that, as well as possible scenarios in which Garoppolo will stay in San Francisco in 2022.
According to Lynch, the biggest reason Garoppolo has yet to be traded is simple: The Niners haven’t received an official offer. Lynch said that upon entering the Boy Scouts meeting last month in Indianapolis, there was momentum for a deal and the Niners spoke “conceptually” with other teams about striking a deal (it wasn’t possible to make it official until March 16).
Implicit in this but later identified explicitly is Lynch’s rejection of reports that he was offered a draft picks in the second round. Lynch said he never told anyone such an offer was on the table.
As other quarterbacks began to move in deals and signings around the league, Lynch said it was Garoppolo’s right shoulder surgery that made interested teams put his chase on hold.
“I think, ultimately, the teams we were closer to, the surgery put them off and they ended up going in other directions,” Lynch said.
Garoppolo’s shoulder surgery didn’t catch the Niners off guard, Lynch said, but he reiterated that both the team and Garoppolo were working under the premise that rehabilitation would be enough to return the quarterback to full strength. When that didn’t happen, the obvious decision was to have the surgery, which Garoppolo performed in early March.
As it stands, Garoppolo, who has been rehab in the Los Angeles area, is not expected to be cleared of playing at full strength until before training camp. That means the Niners are likely to stick with it until at least July.
Lynch acknowledged that many of the teams that initially expressed interest in Garoppolo have since moved on to other quarterbacks, adding that there are teams still in contact, although those talks are “more fluid”.
Which raises the question if Garoppolo can return to the Niners for another season. Garoppolo is set to calculate $26.95 million for next season’s salary cap. Trading (or firing) Garoppolo once he’s healthy would save the Niners $25.55 million in cover space. If the 49 players release Garoppolo now, they will be on the hook for a $7.5 million injury guarantee, although that comes with payouts up to the full amount – meaning if another team signs him for that amount or more, the Niners will get This is thanks to the cover.
However, Lynch once again insisted that the Niners can not only keep Garoppolo next season, but also keep his current salary.
“We appreciate the strength in this situation,” Lynch said. “To be quite frank, though, when you make a deal of this magnitude [for Lance]Most of our choices didn’t include Jimmy in our books. in our team. But you always have to adapt and a chain of events happened that didn’t work out. But this is not a bad thing. We feel positive with it. We will make it work.”
To this end, the Niners already had to restructure contracts with a narrow end George Kettle and defensive line Eric Armstead To get the maximum salary and implement an off-season plan that focuses on adding a buck corner Carvarius Ward of the Kansas City Chiefs and promote their own teams.
Lynch emphasized that the Niners followed their plan and that removing Garoppolo from the equation would not change the way they did business in free agency.
“Our plan was our plan and we were able to do everything we intended to do in free agency,” Lynch said. “We knew we wanted to fill this primary role…and a number of other deals we could piece together. That was our plan whether we had Jimmy or not.”
As for what will happen if Garoppolo returns, Lynch declined to provide details on whether that would result in a training camp competition or how the quarterback condition would play out. He indicated that Garoppolo’s injury would keep him far enough for Lance and the veteran Nate Sudfeld To take all the reps in the offseason program.
“We’re thrilled with what Trey has already shown and where we know he’s going,” Lynch said. “And the opportunity to grow in the offseason program. That’s just vital. Those 10,000 delegates. He needs them. He’s going to have that opportunity in the off-season.”
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