The San Francisco 49ers face an odd situation as they enter the 2022 NFL season. They have a young quarterback they surrendered a ton of assets for and an injured, overpriced returning starter who has guided them to a pair of NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl. They want to move Jimmy Garoppolo to make room for Trey Lance, but they haven't been able to do so. It's pretty late in the game, so it's fair to wonder how this situation is going to play out.
Garoppolo is going to miss 49ers minicamp as he rehabs his surgically-repaired right shoulder. He should be ready for training camp and San Francisco will continue looking for a trade partner. The 30-year-old quarterback is owed $26.95 million this season and isn't close to elite status. A team would have to be really desperate to import that kind of salary. That might be what the Niners are banking on.
In 15 games during the 2021 season, Garoppolo completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 3,810 yards, with 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. His passer rating of 98.7 was average, as was his QBR of 53.3. Again, he's decent, nothing more. Which is why teams aren't falling all over themselves to trade for him.
At this point it seems the only way Garoppolo will get moved is if a team has its starting quarterback suffer an injury in training camp. No team is going to import a backup for $26.95 million, so the only teams that currently make sense are the Seattle Seahawks and the Carolina Panthers. Carolina won't make that move given the money it already owes Sam Darnold, and the Seahawks won't give up anything of value to a division rival for a one-year rental.
It's almost a guarantee that Trey Lance will be starting for the 49ers in 2022. They gave up first-round picks in 2021, 2022 and 2023, plus their third-rounder in 2022 to land him. You can't expend that kind of capital for a backup. But keeping Garoppolo as a backup to Lance could cause issues if the 22-year-old falters at all. Jimmy G has his backers in the locker room who could make noise. The last thing San Francisco wants is a quarterback controversy.
As of now it looks like the 49ers are stuck. Garoppolo is too valuable to simply cut loose, and there simply isn't a trade market for him. We'll see how this plays out but it feels like San Francisco is up against it and time is running out.