The San Francisco 49ers are beginning another eventful offseason, and all eyes are focused on what the team will do with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Coming into late February, the consensus was that Garoppolo would be traded and that the team would move forward with the 2021 NFL draft’s No. 3 pick, Trey Lance. However, Adam Schefter’s recent comments and other rumblings imply that Garoppolo leaving isn’t a sure thing.
The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami made a prediction on February 21 that the team would have a deal complete and reported by the end of February. That could still happen, but Kawakami has since gone on KNBR to discuss why a deal may not be as far as long as some 49ers fans may hope.
It simply comes down to San Francisco not getting the value they want.
“I think the 49ers haven’t gotten the trade offer they want,” Kawakami said. “I don’t think there’s a great value for him… People know exactly who Jimmy is. He’s an injury-prone 30-year-old who can win in the right conditions, but is limited in talent. And some coaches might want him, but they’re not going to go, ‘Here’s a [first-round pick]. Oh, let me let me give you two [first-round picks].’”
Beyond the fact that the Niners aren’t getting offers they want, the reporter also explained that the 49ers likely value Jimmy G differently than most other teams.
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Kyle Shanahan and Garoppolo
What often happens in trade situations is that the team with the player on the trade block overvalues their asset. In this case, Kawakami believes that may be true with head coach Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers.
Garoppolo is an NFL starter, but he may not be held in such high-esteem by the rest of the NFL like San Francisco does.
“That might be what the 49ers are running into,” Kawakami said. “They like him; I think Kyle likes him more than anybody in the NFL likes him. But he had to replace him and now he wants a lot of picks back. They might be running into reality here and that could delay things.”
But while Schefter’s comments saying that the 49ers may hold on to Jimmy G for pure value sake, Kawakami cannot see a scenario where Garoppolo is the quarterback in 2022.
“How can you do that for another year? How can you possibly do that for another year? I just think they haven’t gotten what they want.”
Schefter’s 49ers Comments Ring True
Speaking of Schefter’s comments, the big detail of the situation that the ESPN insider highlighted recently was that the 49ers get a third-round compensatory pick for Garoppolo if they let him walk this offseason.
“Players love playing with him,” Schefter said in an interview with Ari Meirov. “We have him under contract this year at a very friendly $25 million cap number. And if we play with him this year, and we lose him after this year, we’re going to get a third-round comp pick back in return… So, are you better, then, playing the season with Jimmy while getting Trey the training that he still needs? Or are you better trading him for—let’s just call it a two, four, and a six? What’s the better alternative?”
Other than the important task of clearing cap space, the 49ers don’t really have incentive to trade Jimmy G for anything less than a third-round pick. With that in mind, that could delay trade talks.
San Francisco may be ready to move on, but they should only do it if it’s for the right price.