ESPN's Jeremy Fowler explained the situation Sunday on SportsCenter:
"I've been asking around and multiple league execs have told me that the 49ers have not been overly eager to trade Jimmy Garoppolo in recent weeks. They've been comfortable keeping him, but they do believe they would move him at the right price; think a first or a high 2nd-round pick. Now, it all depends where they fit here with the No. 3 overall pick. If they go with a player they think can start right away, maybe it's a Mac Jones or a Justin Fields, that could change things with Garoppolo. But if it's a more developmental player like a Trey Lance, that could move them to keep Garoppolo for a year. Because I'm told they've been looking for upgrades. They're comfortable keeping Garoppolo, but the injury history, missing 23 games the last few years, the $24 million salary all major issues here."
San Francisco currently owns the No. 3 pick of the 2021 NFL draft after a trade with the Miami Dolphins. Even with many projecting quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson to be taken with the first two picks, the team could still have options at the position with Justin Fields, Trey Lance and Mac Jones.
Regardless of the team's selection, keeping Garoppolo could be a wise move to provide a much-needed safety net heading into a year with high expectations.
The only other quarterbacks under contract for the 49ers are Josh Rosen and journeyman Josh Johnson.
Though Garoppolo has been limited by injuries in his career, the 29-year-old is only two years removed from leading the team to the Super Bowl. He posted a 102.0 quarterback rating in 2019 with 3,978 passing yards and 27 touchdowns.
The veteran could provide the team with a reliable option under center in case the rookie draft pick requires a longer transition to the NFL.
On the other hand, Garoppolo has a $26.4 million cap hit in 2021 and the 49ers could clear $23.6 million of that by trading the quarterback, per Spotrac.
ESPN's Dianna Russini previously reported the New England Patriots have interest in a reunion with Garoppolo, potentially creating a deal that helps everyone involved.