Jimmy Garoppolo is reportedly targeting a mid-August return from offseason shoulder surgery.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the San Francisco 49ers are "thrilled" with where Garoppolo stands in his rehabilitation progress.
"He is progressing extremely well, working with a physical therapist every day, doing exactly what needs to be done," Rapoport said Wednesday on NFL Today Access. "It is all positive, and expectation is he will be fully cleared—in other words, able to make all the throws 40 yards down the field or more—at about mid-August. That is the expectation. The 49ers are thrilled with where Jimmy Garoppolo is as far as his health. The rotator cuff, that is expected to be stronger when he gets through all of this."
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
Jimmy G has been throwing for several weeks. The focus will be not on making one deep throw but on making many in a row to hold up to the rigors of a game or in a practice. That's what full clearance would mean. The belief is the cuff will end up stronger than before. <a href="https://t.co/n1tySCgSEm">https://t.co/n1tySCgSEm</a>
The 49ers have spent much of the offseason exploring the trade market for Garoppolo as they look to hand the franchise keys over to Trey Lance. Teams have been understandably hesitant to offer much compensation to this point, with Garoppolo's uncertain health being the biggest factor.
The number of teams potentially looking for a starting quarterback has also evaporated while Garoppolo has been on the mend. The Seattle Seahawks are the only team remaining without a locked-in starter after the Carolina Panthers traded for Baker Mayfield earlier this month. It seems unlikely that the 49ers would want to trade Garoppolo within the NFC West.
The 49ers' best bet may wind up being the Cleveland Browns, who will likely be without starter Deshaun Watson for a significant chunk of the season. Watson is facing a suspension from the NFL for violations of the league's personal conduct policy related to allegations of sexual assault and misconduct.
Jacoby Brissett signed a one-year contract to serve as Watson's backup in March, but it's possible the Browns have bigger plans. Cleveland has the most salary cap room of any team in the NFL ($48.5 million), which is more than enough to absorb Garoppolo's contract ($24.2 million).
Assuming Garoppolo would also be willing to take a slight pay cut in order to facilitate the trade and land some guarantees—his contract does not have any guaranteed money remaining—the Browns could get a high-quality stopgap for when Watson is out and a backup for when he returns.