Maiocco: 49ers completely botched their handling of Jimmy G originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Garoppolo would have been traded.
No question about it.
The 49ers would have been able to trade Garoppolo on the first day of the new league year if he were healthy.
Instead, much to the 49ers’ surprise, Garoppolo opted for shoulder surgery and the four-month recovery that came along with it.
Once training camp opened and Garoppolo remained on the team’s 90-man roster, it should have been apparent that no team was willing to trade for Garoppolo and his $24.2 million salary.
He was fully cleared to practice at that point. All teams that would have been interested had already filled their quarterback needs.
And for any trade to be executed, Garoppolo would have, in essence, held veto power because he could have refused to take a pay cut to join another team.
Garoppolo on Monday officially accepted a $17.2 million pay cut to remain with the 49ers.
The 49ers’ quarterback situation is stronger with Garoppolo joining presumptive starter Trey Lance on the team’s depth chart.
There is no question: A starter-backup combination of Lance and Garoppolo is much better than Lance and any combination of Nate Sudfeld or Brock Purdy.
But the quarterback room is not as strong to open the season as it could have been if the 49ers had not botched the handling of the situation.
The 49ers treated Garoppolo as if he were persona non grata from the opening of training camp.
He did not attend meetings. He was not issued updated playbook material. He used the team’s facility to go through his throwing program, and that’s it.
Lance said last week his only interactions with Garoppolo this summer were just “in passing.”
“He is not really around for practice or meetings or anything like that,” Lance said of Garoppolo.
There's little question that Lance, 22, could have benefited from having Garoppolo around a little more.
When the club released its first depth chart of training camp, Garoppolo was ranked behind Lance, Sudfeld and Purdy. Coach Kyle Shanahan said the only reason Garoppolo was listed at all was because the team was required to do so.
Why did the 49ers not see this coming? Why did they not get to work earlier to convince Garoppolo that taking a pay cut to remain with the organization was something that was in the best interest of both sides?
Garoppolo might be called upon early in the season. Heck, you never know. He might be pressed into action on Sunday, Sept. 11, against the Chicago Bears.
All backup quarterbacks have to be ready to play at the drop of a Surface tablet.
But because he did not practice at all this summer, Garoppolo is nowhere near ready to step into an NFL game with no offseason program and no practice time with his teammates during training camp.
It is difficult to imagine the 49ers could have handled this situation any worse.