Jimmy Garoppolo Was Told 49ers 'Moved on' to Trey Lance as Starter amid Trade Rumors

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 26, 2022

INGLEWOOD, CA - JANUARY 09: San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) and San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Trey Lance (5) warm up before the NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams on January 9, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers have handed Trey Lance the keys to the offense.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters Tuesday that he and general manager John Lynch spoke with Jimmy Garoppolo to make the team's plans clear.

"We have moved on to Trey," he said. "... This is Trey's team."

The comments merely confirm what almost everybody already knew.

David Lombardi @LombardiHimself

People really shouldn't have needed Kyle Shanahan's multiple reconfirmations of the Lance/Garoppolo plan. <br><br>He and Lynch have been saying this 49ers' plan out loud for over a year

The Niners didn't give up multiple first-round picks to move up and select Lance in the 2021 NFL draft only to have him ride the bench for two or three years.

The writing was on the wall for Garoppolo the moment the franchise made the selection. He's in the final year of his contract and is clearly no longer in San Francisco's long-term plans.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on July 20 that the 49ers gave permission to Garoppolo's agents to begin looking for a trade. That would be their ideal outcome since his departure would give Lance a clear path and help them shed at least some of his nearly $27 million salary-cap hit while getting something of value back.

The 30-year-old's offseason shoulder surgery is likely depressing his trade market.

Jonathan Jones @jjones9

Some NFL teams have poked around about Jimmy Garoppolo but have been unwilling to seriously consider any trade until his shoulder heals. With his near $25M salary and questions about his health, the trade process could take a while.

"We think Jimmy would have been traded if the surgery didn't happen," Shanahan said Tuesday. "He needed to do it; there's no ill will there at all."

The Cleveland Browns eventually settled for a conditional 2024 draft pick in return for Baker Mayfield, and they assumed a majority of his 2022 salary to facilitate the deal. San Francisco isn't exactly negotiating from a position of strength.

At this point, it might make more sense for teams to simply wait and see whether the Niners release Garoppolo outright. Are they really going to keep him on the roster when cutting him will save $25.6 million?

Regardless of what happens with Jimmy G, Shanahan made the team's quarterback hierarchy clear.