Almost all of this year's big-name quarterback dominoes have fallen. Jimmy Garoppolo is not one of them. Despite publicly acknowledging he'd likely be traded soon after the end of the 2021 NFL season, the 49ers veteran remains on San Francisco's roster as he recovers from shoulder surgery. And the team doesn't expect to deal the QB until just before training camp, according to ESPN, aiming to shop Garoppolo (again) after he completes rehab sometime this summer.
"After losing to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game, the expectation was that the first big piece of business -- trading Garoppolo -- would happen quickly," Nick Wagoner wrote Monday. "That was before it was known Garoppolo needed right shoulder surgery, a procedure that wiped out his trade value and put his future in limbo.
"Garoppolo's shoulder is slated to get the all-clear in late June or early July," Wagoner continued, "at which point the Niners will again seek a trade partner. And though the Niners have said repeatedly they don't intend to release Garoppolo, it's still hard to imagine a scenario in which he's on the roster in Week 1, at least at his current $26.95 million cap number."
The 49ers have sent mixed signals regarding Garoppolo's future in recent months. On one hand, they've echoed the QB's expectations of playing elsewhere in 2022, indicating former No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance will require as many first-team reps as possible this offseason as the projected Week 1 starter. On the other, they've recycled comments about Garoppolo's value inside the organization from prior to the 2021 season, hinting they could still keep the veteran as proven insurance. The latter seems unlikely at Garoppolo's current price, as Wagoner alluded to, and even a potential pay cut wouldn't necessarily resolve that; Garoppolo notably skipped voluntary workouts to start the offseason, perhaps in part to enable Lance's takeover.
Regardless, Garoppolo's trade market remains limited. Most teams have already addressed QB vacancies. One of the few teams that could still be interested in the veteran as a 2022 starter is the Panthers, who spent a third-round pick on Mississippi's Matt Corral but otherwise have just Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker on their QB depth chart.