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Why are the 49ers happy to keep Jimmy Garoppolo if even he’s not the starting QB?

With the franchise having made its position clear, it’s now anbody’s guess as to what happens next for the one-time starting quarterback.

Jimmy Garoppolo and 49ers stuck in the middle in absence of trade options
Harry HowAFP

The 49ers QB finds himself in a complicated situation. Unable to start for the team and apparently unable to leave, what does the future hold for the two-time Super Bowl winner?

49ers in no rush to trade Jimmy Garoppolo

According to reports, the San Francisco 49ers don’t have any immediate intention to trade quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Speaking recently on the situation, 49ers owner Jed York had this to say:

“I’ve said this before, you can’t have enough good quarterbacks and good football players,” York said. “I’m not going to get into roster discussions and what John (Lynch) and Kyle (Shanahan) 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.

With that, the former starting QB is now in an awkward position. On the one hand, it’s all but certain that his days as the franchise’s No. 1 QB are over. Trey Lance’s star has risen and the young signal caller seems to be worth it, such that he’s now the team’s starting QB. This brings us to the other side of Garoppolo’s strange situation. That’s to say, that the franchise’s position effectively puts Jimmy G in limbo.

How is Jimmy Garoppolo’s situation going to work?

To be clear, maintaining Garoppolo’s services will be costly - $26.95 million in cap space to be exact. Yet, it would appear that there is method to York’s madness. Time and time again we’ve seen young QB’s freeze up in the early stages of their careers as starters. Garoppolo - though expensive - appears to be a luxury worth hanging on to. A top tier quarterback, Jimmy G offers cover for the most important position in the game and that seems to be exactly what York is thinking.

With his direct reference to Young and Montana - the former was a backup to the latter - it’s clear where York’s head is at. Fans will recall for example, when Montana missed the entire season in 1991 due to injury. It was Young who stepped up to take the 49ers to a 10-6 season. Indeed, Young would go on to be named MVP twice before winning the Super Bowl itself in 1994. This isn’t to say that the 49ers will maintain Garoppolo on the roster for an extended period of time, but it’s now clear that they’re willing to do so for the time being and moreover, we know why.


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