Jimmy Garoppolo has been fully cleared for football activities—just don't expect him to step on the field with his San Francisco 49ers teammates.
49ers general manager John Lynch said Garoppolo has "no restrictions" but will continue to work out on the side as the team tries to find a trade partner for the backup quarterback.
“We’ve just made the decision that it’s in his best interest to be off to the side and that was made mutually,” Lynch told reporters. “It was made with Dr. [Neil] ElAttrache, but he has no restrictions and I’m watching him throw out here right now. He looks pretty good.”
Lynch has been exploring trades for several months but found a tepid market amid concerns about Garoppolo's throwing shoulder. The team recently gave Garoppolo's representation permission to seek a trade on their own, a move that could expedite the negotiations process.
That said, the number of teams in need of a quarterback has evaporated. The Seattle Seahawks are the team most in glaring need of a starter but seem satisfied to move forward with Geno Smith and Drew Lock rather than make a deal with a division rival. The Cleveland Browns are seemingly set on Jacoby Brissett opening as their Week 1 starter with Deshaun Watson suspended.
The 49ers may need to wait until there's an injury or player underperforming in camp for a legitimate market to form. If we get deeper into August and Garoppolo's still on the roster, the team may wind up having to consider outright releasing him. Garoppolo has said all the right things publicly, but there would be a natural tension to give the job back to the veteran if Trey Lance scuffles out of the gate.
Trading or releasing Garoppolo would eliminate any potential for Lance to be looking over his shoulder.