49ers' Kyle Shanahan Expects Jimmy Garoppolo to Be Traded, Says It's Not a Lock

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 24, 2022

SANTA CLARA, CA - AUGUST 10: Jimmy Garoppolo #10 and Head Coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers talk on the field prior to the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi's Stadium on August 10, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. The 49ers defeated the Cowboys 17-9. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters on Tuesday that he expects veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to eventually get traded, though nothing is guaranteed.

"Nothing's changed since [his March 8 surgery on his right shoulder]," he said. "Where we were at before that, and then he got the surgery, so everything went on hold. I expect him at some time, most likely, to be traded, but who knows? That's not a guarantee. It's been exactly on hold when that happened. When he's healthy, we'll see what happens."

Earlier in May, Niners general manager John Lynch said on KNBR 680's Tolbert & Copes show (h/t Taylor Wirth of NBC Sports) that the team was close to a trade for Garoppolo before he elected to have surgery:

"I felt like we were close in some discussions and then the decision was made to have surgery and that brought things to a screeching halt; people just don't do that even with a likelihood that everything is going to be good. We continue to get calls about Jimmy and one thing we as a group got together (and said) he's too good of a player, he's got a lot of good tape out there. You don't just let guys like that walk out the door. We want to either have Jimmy playing for us which we're all right with or we want him to get the value."

All indications to this point have been that second-year quarterback Trey Lance will be given every opportunity to earn the starting gig. In March, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported that Lance "has gotten the full impression behind the scenes that he will start in 2022."

It makes sense. The Niners traded first-round picks in 2021, 2022 and 2023 and a 2022 third-round pick to move up nine spots in the 2021 NFL draft to select Lance at No. 3 overall. 

Lance largely served as Garoppolo's backup last season, though he did start two games, completing 31-of-52 attempts for 441 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in those games. He also rushed for 120 yards. 

San Francisco went 1-1 in his starts. 

For the Niners, rushing into a trade and getting less than market value in return doesn't make sense. Some teams may decide their projected starting quarterback isn't cutting it during training camp or the preseason and make a better offer. Others might deal with unfortunate injuries and want to stay afloat with otherwise playoff-caliber rosters. A more vibrant market for Garoppolo could materialize later in the summer. 

A trade feels inevitable. It's more about when at this point, not if.