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Why Lynch thinks 49ers had good offseason despite Jimmy G situation originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
But offseason shoulder surgery and a potential over-valuation from the 49ers snuffed out any trade talk, and Garoppolo remains on the roster at this moment. The 49ers could release Garoppolo and clear up $25 million in salary-cap space. That's a move general manager John Lynch has said is not in the cards as the 49ers believe Garoppolo is too good of a player to simply cut bait with.
Garoppolo's salary remaining on the books has led to criticism of the 49ers' offseason, believing that having Garoppolo still on the roster has stopped them from making the necessary upgrades to the roster and slowed down the process of extending Nick Bosa and Deebo Samuel, the latter of which has no demanded a trade.
“I think that's the noise that's out there," Lynch told reporters Monday when asked about the perception the 49ers had a bad offseason. "We feel really good about our offseason. We took a hard look at our roster and said, ‘Where do we need to be better?’ And we think we've addressed those areas. I think a common theme was we wanted to be better, holistically, on special teams, but we never just want to have special teams players. We want guys that fit into our offense or defense. And I think Ray-Ray McCloud is a perfect example of that, Oren Burks is a perfect example of that. A very good special teams player, but also a very capable linebacker who provides depth. I think George Odom is another example, a guy who started meaningful games for the Colts last year and played at what we thought was a really high level at safety. But this guy's an all-pro special teams player as well.
"You add a guy like Kemoko Turay late, he's got very good rush skills and we feel like he can thrive in our system," Lynch continued recounting the 49ers' moves. "And we like a lot of what I did, Charvarius Ward, that was our number one goal to add a top-flight corner that can match up with the top receivers in this league. And man, I can't tell you how excited we are about Charvarius. And so, I mentioned before, and I think a lot of people see that correlation between the money that Jimmy is due and that is somehow prohibiting us from doing what we wanted to do, that wasn't the case.
"We had a plan, we've been very aggressive, top five, top ten team in terms of cash. And we've had the pedal down for five years. It was time to probably, on the whole, take a step back in terms of the amount of cash and cap we were spending. And so that was planned all along. And still, I think despite those kinds of challenges we were able to have, what I believe, is a really productive offseason. And I'm really excited with where our team's at.”
Lynch's comments echo those of head coach Kyle Shanahan at the NFL Annual Meeting. Shanahan was thrilled with the addition of Ward and, while the losses of Tomlinson and Jones stung, believes the 49ers are set up well to withstand those losses.
“I think our defensive line has some really good players, but I think we’re always going to win with strength in numbers,” Shanahan said. “We lost a really good offensive lineman, but we also drafted a guy last year in the second round understanding that could happen when the money gets that way.
“I think everything has gone how we expected it to. I hope we have better luck in the offseason with healthy and nobody gets hurt in OTAs and just keep trying to get better and practicing.”
Shanahan also said he expects the 49ers' young players to take a leap in 2022. Of course, being able to mend the relationship with the now-disgruntled Samuel will be a big part of that equation.
The 49ers enter the 2022 NFL Draft with some areas to address and nine selections to work with. Lynch admitted Monday the 49ers would be open to trading up if the right scenario comes along, but they view the draft class as deep and believe it could be beneficial to let the board fall to them.
Garoppolo, meanwhile, is in the middle of an expected four-month rehab that won't have him ready to throw again until late June or early July. As for the possibility of the 30-year-old signal-caller returning to the 49ers this fall, Garoppolo is unsure of what his future holds.
“I don’t know, honestly,” Garoppolo told SiriusXM's Mad Dog Sports Radio. “There are a couple different scenarios that we’ve played out. I think the shoulder is going to be a big part of it. As this comes along, more and more stuff will start to happen.
“I’m a big believer in staying in the moment, especially when you’re dealing with rehab. Every day is a fight. You’re trying to get just a little bit better each day. I think that keeps you focused on where you’re at right now. Whatever happens in the future, that’ll all take care of itself. I know it’ll work out one way or another. But, right now, I’m just focused on the shoulder and getting this thing right.”