Jimmy Garoppolo has been the subject of trade rumors throughout the offseason—both before and after the San Francisco 49ers drafted quarterback Trey Lance third overall—but he seemingly doesn't worry too much about the external talk.
The 29-year-old discussed his view on trade rumors with Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated:
"You hear all the stuff. I didn't know how much to put into it, because if you start thinking one way, and then something happens and you go the opposite way, that’s going to make it even tougher out here. So I've really just tried to take it day-by-day. And even right now, anything could happen. I was traded two days before the trade deadline a couple years ago. I know in this league, anything's possible."
Garoppolo remains with the 49ers heading into the 2021 season, but questions will persist about his future as he fights off Lance to stay on top of the depth chart.
"I always want to be the starter, I'll always fight to be the starter," the veteran said. "But at the end of the day, I'm playing football. I'm loving it right now. It's a competition, that's what you're here for. I'm ready for whatever."
Garoppolo likely has a leg-up on his competition to at least begin the year given his experience and familiarity with the 49ers system over the past four seasons. Though injuries limited the 29-year-old to just six games in 2020, he also led San Francisco to the Super Bowl after totaling 3,978 passing yards and 27 touchdowns in 2019.
Lance could also take longer to transition to the NFL after facing FCS competition at North Dakota State. He also only played one game in 2020 after opting out following the decision to move the FCS season to spring 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fans are still already clamoring for the rookie to start, especially after encouraging videos coming out of practices:
It could cause Garoppolo to look over his shoulder even with the starting job to open the year.
Garoppolo's contract could also make him expendable with a $26.4 million cap hit for 2021 and $27 million for 2022, per Spotrac. The team could save nearly $25 million against the cap by trading the veteran.
This likely means the trade rumors and speculation will not disappear unless he silences critics on the field.