Jimmy Garoppolo can choose next team as 49ers look for trade partner

·3 min read

Why Jimmy G can choose next team even as 49ers look for trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The 49ers are holding out hope they can trade veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

But, for now, all they’re really doing is just holding onto him.

It seems doubtful at this point the 49ers can trade Garoppolo. After all, Garoppolo has a lot of say in the matter, too.

Although Garoppolo does not have a no-trade clause in his contract, he can still determine where he goes by declining to negotiated a reduced contract with all teams but the one he wants to join.

Another team could still have a significant injury at quarterback, but Garoppolo still can likely determine whether he wants to play for that team. They only way he will not determine his next employer is if another team is willing to pay his full scheduled salary.

And that seems as that’s an unlikely scenario at this point.

The key date in the 49ers-Garoppolo saga all along has been thought to be Aug. 30. That’s when all NFL teams must reduce their rosters to the regular-season limit of 53 players.

But, as Pro Football Talk pointed out on Monday, Garoppolo’s contract does not become guaranteed unless he is on the roster for the first game of the regular season. So the 49ers could continue to play hardball and prevent him from going to another team for another four weeks.

Second-year quarterback Trey Lance has taken over as the 49ers’ starter. Garoppolo’s trade or release would create an immediate cap savings of $25.55 million. Unused cap money rolls over from one season to the next, so that cushion could be re-invested in the future into the rising costs of some of their front-line talent.

In order for the 49ers to assure themselves of not paying Garoppolo anything for the upcoming season, they must release him before Tuesday heading into Week 1 of the regular season. He would get a game check of $1.34 million if he gets cut at any point from Sept. 6 to Sept. 10.

In addition to the hope of trading Garoppolo, the 49ers do not want to release him now and take the chance of him latching on with Seattle Seahawks with a lot of time to get acclimated and become the starter early in the season.

The 49ers play the Seahawks in Week 2, and it seems apparent the club would rather face Geno Smith or Drew Lock at quarterback.

Now, another NFC West team could come into play for Garoppolo.

Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay last week caused a stir with his description of quarterback Matthew Stafford’s elbow issue.

"It's a little bit abnormal for a quarterback, some of this stuff is things that MLB pitchers deal with,” McVay said.

Then, Stafford had a good practice on Saturday, and McVay said he felt a lot better about Stafford’s health.

The other quarterbacks on the defending Super Bowl champions' roster are John Wolford, Bryce Perkins and Luis Perez.

Garoppolo has been seen throwing extensively at the 49ers' practice facility in Santa Clara. The club continues to hold him out of practices despite general manager John Lynch saying he has been fully cleared from shoulder surgery in March.

The 49ers gave Garoppolo’s representation permission to seek a trade many months ago. That was done with the belief that no team would be willing to trade for Garoppolo under the current terms of his contract.

RELATED: Why Lance looks 'different' to Bryant Young in 49ers camp

Garoppolo is signed through only the upcoming season. He is scheduled to make $24.2 million in base salary with up to $800,000 available in per-game roster bonuses.

Because his representation is allowed to speak with other teams, he can have his next move figured out in advance.

Garoppolo can most likely remain patient, decline to rework his contract and sign with the team of his liking after the 49ers release him.

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast