That is exactly what has happened during training camp, and the 49ers have been reportedly trying to trade Garoppolo for a while now as a result.
There was some rumored interest from teams such as the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers, but that interest was tepid at best.
But right now, it looks like the interest in Garoppolo is even lower.
Garoppolo Won’t Be Headed To Broadway
The New York Jets, a team that went 4-13 last season and hasn’t made the playoffs in about a decade, took quarterback Zach Wilson with the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
In his first preseason game this year, Wilson suffered a non-contact knee injury, and many feared he may have been lost for the season.
Luckily for New York, Wilson only had a bone bruise and meniscus injury, and after undergoing surgery, he isn’t expected to miss much time once the regular season begins.
But it was unlucky for San Francisco, as some wondered if the Jets may make a run at Garoppolo to replace Wilson.
With Jimmy Garoppolo available from the #49ers, the #Jets don’t appear intent on making a move. They have confidence in Joe Flacco in the likely scenario where he starts until Zach Wilson is 100% ready. https://t.co/qplSF1iNFm
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 16, 2022
Joe Flacco may be 37 years of age, and he may have gone 0-5 as a starter with the Jets over the last two years, but they seem content with him until Wilson is fully recovered.
Also, it’s not like the Jets are in a win-now situation, as they are going through a long-term rebuilding project.
Ironically, Flacco denied the 49ers their sixth world championship when his Baltimore Ravens defeated them in the Super Bowl at the end of the 2012 season.
Cleveland Could Be Out Of The Running
The Cleveland Browns will be without star quarterback Deshaun Watson for at least the first six games of the regular season, depending on the decision that is made by the NFL regarding his discipline for his sexual misconduct allegations.
It led to speculation that the Browns could trade for Garoppolo in order to give them an above-average QB one way or another for the entire season (barring injury).
But Ian Rapoport of NFL Network doesn’t see them going after him.
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) August 15, 2022
“To answer your question about Jimmy G and the Browns, I’ve seen some reports,” Rapoport said. “I just don’t get the sense that the Browns are that interested. I just don’t. I mean, they signed Jacoby Brissett for a reason. If they trade for Jimmy G, it’s 20-plus more million dollars.
“Not that money is the biggest concern, but I checked with everyone. Maybe something will surprise me. I just do not get the sense that there’s that much interest in him.”
Garoppolo May End Up Leaving San Francisco For Nothing
Peter King of NBC Sports predicts the 49ers will hold onto Garoppolo for the time being, then release him just before the start of the regular season.
“The Niners have two weeks to cut the roster to 53,” wrote King. “Theoretically, they would want to make a decision on Garoppolo by then, because in an ideal world they don’t want a guy they have no intention of keeping count against their 53. But that’s out of their hands unless Cleveland or Seattle figures it would be smart to trade something for him. If they keep Garoppolo, they’d have to expose a make-it player on cutdown day and they could lose a valuable special-teams performer, let’s say. The next landmark is the week before the Sept. 11 opener. If Garoppolo is on the roster then, the club would have to guarantee his $24.2-million salary for the season.
“The reality is that the Niners likely won’t keep Garoppolo with the big salary. But then there’s the danger of releasing Jimmy G before the season, and a motivated Garoppolo going to Seattle, for example (San Francisco’s week two foe), and interfering with the Niners’ contention plans.”
Ideally, a team such as Cleveland or Seattle would show serious interest in Garoppolo via trade and give the Niners something of value in return, even if it’s just a low draft pick.
But money could be a significant motivator behind how San Francisco handles the situation.
Star pass rusher Nick Bosa is due a contract extension, and the 49ers certainly want to give him one in order to keep their current talented core around for at least a few more years.
Releasing Garoppolo would clear the requisite space to make such an extension feasible.