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Jed York: 49ers 'Happy to Keep' Jimmy Garoppolo If Trade Doesn't Materialize

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 20, 2022

Jimmy Garoppolo (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York reiterated the organization is willing to keep Jimmy Garoppolo on its roster despite moving forward with Trey Lance as its new starting quarterback.

York told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic he'll allow general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan to decide how to handle the situation ahead of final roster cuts before the 2022 season:

"I've said this before, you can't have enough good quarterbacks and good football players. I'm not going to get into roster discussions and what John and Kyle want to do. But I will support them in sort of anything that they want to make this team as good as it can possibly be.

"I watched it with Joe [Montana] and Steve [Young] and I realize the salary cap is different today than having no salary cap. But we've said it before: We're happy to keep Jimmy. We're happy to have him on the roster. And if that's the case, then that's the case."

Although the Niners have maintained that stance throughout the offseason, actually keeping Garoppolo on the squad as a backup would be tough from a financial standpoint.

The 30-year-old Illinois native is scheduled to count $26.95 million against the salary cap in the final season of his five-year, $137.5 million contract. The team can save nearly $25 million by trading or releasing him.

That represents much-needed financial flexibility with San Francisco having just over $807,000 in space under the cap, per Spotrac, and its going to need some room to make free-agent signings as injuries inevitably arise throughout the campaign.

A trade to recoup a few assets in exchange for Garoppolo would be the preferred option, but nothing has materialized as he works back to full strength from shoulder surgery.

It's possible an injury could arise over the final two weeks of the preseason to create an urgent trade partner, but otherwise, it appears other teams understand the Niners' financial constraints and are willing to wait for Jimmy G to hit the free-agent market.

Garoppolo is coming off a solid 2021 season that saw him complete 68.3 percent of his throws for 3,810 yards with 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 15 games. He added three rushing scores and helped lead the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game.

In a perfect world, San Francisco would be able to keep the 2014 second-round pick in case Lance struggles with his transition to the starting role or suffers an injury. Perhaps the front office will be able to work some financial magic to make that possible.

As it stands, however, it's highly probable the Niners will either trade or release Garoppolo before the regular season kicks off next month.

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