If Jimmy Garoppolo is on the 49ers' roster for Week 1, the $26.95 million he's owed in 2022 will be fully guaranteed. And San Francisco just might pay that price. Or at least according to coach Kyle Shanahan, who on Tuesday didn't rule out the possibility of keeping Garoppolo as a backup option at quarterback.
"I don't know what I'll do that day," Shanahan said when asked about Garoppolo's future as it relates to the NFL's Aug. 30 deadline for final roster cuts. "(I'll) probably decide when it comes."
Pressed to clarify whether there's still a chance Garoppolo could remain on the team, even after being excused from the entire offseason program to let 2021 first-round pick Trey Lance take over under center, Shanahan left all options on the table.
"I think any scenario is possible," he said, adding that he still communicates with Garoppolo on a regular basis and is confident in the veteran's physical condition after recovering from early-offseason shoulder surgery.
In all likelihood, the 49ers are simply holding out hope that a trade partner will surface in advance of final cuts, perhaps due to another team's preseason injuries. They have catered their entire offseason around installing Lance as the new starter, with Garoppolo effectively being shopped since immediately following the 2021 season. The issue is, almost every team has long since addressed QB vacancies for 2022, and Garoppolo only recently received medical clearance for full on-field action.
The 30-year-old signal-caller would save the 49ers $25.5M if traded or outright released. Considering he may have a market with at least one team -- the rival Seahawks -- for a potential starting opportunity, he's unlikely to take a pay cut to remain as Lance's backup.