The Seattle Seahawks could end up with a new quarterback after all.
Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area said he expected the San Francisco 49ers to release quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo by the end of August. In other words, Maiocco said he did not expect the 49ers to carry their former starting quarterback heading into the regular season, when his $24.2 million salary would become guaranteed.
Maiocco predicted during an August 22 appearance on KNBR’s “Tolbert & Copes” that Garoppolo would released on August 30 and then sign with another team the next day. Maiocco noted that San Francisco was hesitant to release the veteran quarterback because they were afraid he’d sign with the division rival Seahawks.
“So my guess is that he’s released on August 30th, and probably the next day, he’s signing with some team,” Maiocco said. “And I know around the 49ers, that they think he’s going to be ending up in Seattle.”
49ers Claim They’re Willing to ‘Keep’ Garoppolo
While the Seahawks continue to be linked to the veteran quarterback, they currently have a quarterback competition brewing between Geno Smith and Drew Lock. Although Smith is leading the competition, head coach Pete Carroll has yet to commit to a starter for the season opener. In fact, he stated, the Seahawks will take “all the time we need” to determine who is the starting quarterback.
The 49ers have held on to Garoppolo in the hopes that they’ll find a trade partner for the 30-year-old quarterback. The problem is, every team across the league is well aware that they can simply hold out until the start of the season, when San Francisco will likely release Garoppolo.
Niners team owner Jed York recently stated that the team is willing to retain Garoppolo until a viable trade pops up — something that is very likely a leverage tactic due to the lack of interest in a trade.
“I watched it with Joe [Montana] and Steve [Young], and I realize the salary cap is different today than having no salary cap,” York said in an August 19 story in The Athletic. “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.”
Maiocco argued that keeping Garoppolo isn’t likely because they’d be wasting a roster spot heading into the season.
“I would suspect that he’s released on August 30th, and then it doesn’t go to September 10th,” Maiocco said. “They could hold onto him for that long, but I don’t think they would do that because that would mean that, in essence, they would have to cut one more player than they want to because, with him, it would be 52 players and Jimmy Garoppolo. And so with the roster that they have, I just don’t see them doing that.”
ALL the latest Seahawks news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Seahawks newsletter here!
Fowler: Seahawks ‘Interested’ in Jimmy G If He’s Released
It’s clear the Seahawks are not desperate in their potential pursuit of Garoppolo. They have their quarterback situation to worry about as they enter a likely season of rebuilding. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler doubled down on the notion the Seahawks are “interested” in Garoppolo, but only if he’s available as a free agent — not via trade.
“People I’ve talked to around the league still expect that any interested team — whether it’s the Browns, Seattle — they’re waiting for him to be released,” Fowler said on “SportsCenter,” according to Rob Goldberg of Bleacher Report. “They don’t want anything to do with that $26 million that he’s owed this year. And they know the clock is ticking on San Francisco — that money becomes guaranteed Week 1. And so they’re just going to sort of wait this out. There’s a chance that the 49ers can try to get some sort of mid- to late-round pick for him.”
If Garoppolo is indeed released, the Seahawks — along with the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins — would be “legitimate possibilities,” Maiocco said.