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How 49ers QB coach Griese can empathize with Jimmy G

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SANTA CLARA -- First-year 49ers quarterbacks coach Brian Griese has not had much interaction with Jimmy Garoppolo since he stepped out of the broadcast booth to join Kyle Shanahan’s staff.

Griese said he has left the communication with Garoppolo to Shanahan and those higher in the organization.

Garoppolo is not expected to be back with the 49ers this season after the club anointed Trey Lance as the starter. Garoppolo’s scheduled base salary of $24.2 million rules him out as an option — unless he were to accept a backup role and the significant pay cut that would come along with it.

Griese, who spent 11 seasons as a quarterback in the NFL, spoke with a sense of understanding about what the veteran quarterback is experiencing this offseason.

“I was in a situation where I knew I wasn’t going to be on a team and I was let go late in the process after June 1 for salary cap reasons,” said Griese, 

After five seasons and 51 starts with the Denver Broncos, the club released him after signing free-agent Jake Plummer earlier that offseason. Griese eventually signed with the Miami Dolphins.

“I remember how hard that was,” Griese said. “We all want to know where we’re going to play, where we’re going to be. And now this has gone on (for a while), so it’s very difficult for Jimmy. So I have a lot of empathy for the situation he’s in.”


Lance has taken every first-team practice snap with the 49ers this offseason. Nate Sudfeld is in line to be the backup.

Meanwhile, the 49ers continue to hold onto Garoppolo with the hope of trading him before the start of the regular season.

If the 49ers are unable to find a trade partner, they could keep him on their roster until Aug. 30 at 1 p.m. at no cost to the organization.

If the 49ers trade or release Garoppolo before that date, they would realize an immediate savings on the salary cap of $25.55 million.

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It is likely the 49ers’ motivation for continuing to hold onto Garoppolo is to prevent him from the potential of joining the division rival Seattle Seahawks.

The 49ers cannot entirely block Garoppolo from going to Seattle if they were to cut him. But they do not want him to start to get acclimated to the Seahawks’ offense so far in advance of the start of the regular season.

The 49ers and Seahawks play at Levi’s Stadium in Week 2 of the regular season. Currently, Geno Smith and Drew Lock are competing to be Seattle’s starting quarterback.

Griese expressed his respect for Garoppolo, who continues to take part in daily throwing sessions at the 49ers’ training complex in Santa Clara after undergoing shoulder surgery in March.

General manager John Lynch said Garoppolo has been fully cleared but the club is opting to keep him out of practices while his future remains unresolved.

“I know what he’s meant to this organization, to this locker room, to this area, to the Bay Area,” Griese said. “So I hope this is resolved as soon as possible and he finds a place that works for him. I wish nothing but the best for him.”

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