PALM BEACH, Fla. — Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo remains on the 49ers’ roster long after the club figured he would have been sent elsewhere this offseason in a trade.
And 49ers general manager John Lynch said Monday he does not envision a scenario in which the club will release Garoppolo to free up salary-cap space and clear the way for Trey Lance to take over.
“I don’t foresee that,” Lynch said. “He’s too good of a player. I don’t foresee that, and I think Jimmy will be playing for us or he’ll be playing for somebody else. He’s too good of a player not to be.”
Lynch, speaking at the NFL Annual Meeting, said there were promising trade talks in the days leading up to the decision for Garoppolo to undergo shoulder surgery around the time of the NFL Scouting Combine.
“There were a ton of conversations and I think there was real good momentum,” Lynch said. “Then, the decision that was made for Jimmy to have surgery certainly caused a lot of teams to pause and at least slow down the process to do their due diligence.
“The quarterback musical chairs is going on, and all along we understood that we really value Jimmy and never were we just going to give him away.”
Lynch said the 49ers never received a firm offer for Garoppolo from any team. He said he did not tell other NFL teams that he had offers, either.
The question remains that the 49ers could decide to release Garoppolo later in the offseason to save $25 million in cap space. Lynch said that the 49ers not only believe they might be able to trade Garoppolo, but trade him for a nice return as the season gets closer.
San Francisco 49ers
“We were always going to hold true to what we thought his value was,” Lynch said.
“Right now, we hold onto him. I think we’re fortunate we have three quarterbacks that we believe in, in Trey, Jimmy and Nate (Sudfeld). Some people are looking for one. I think that’s a position of strength."
The 49ers traded up to No. 3 overall to select Lance in the 2021 NFL Draft. Lance served as Garoppolo’s backup as a rookie and started two games.
The feeling after the season was that Lance would be moved into the starting lineup with Garoppolo's expected departure.
Now, that departure is not seen as a sure thing.
“There’s a lot of questions of what this means for Trey,” Lynch said. “The great news is we’re extremely positive as I’ve said and Kyle’s said on Trey’s progress. This offseason he’ll have ample opportunity — as will Nate — to get plenty of reps. And we’re looking forward to that process.”