The 49ers aren’t just keeping Jimmy Garoppolo in Santa Clara because they need or want to — it’s also because they can.
When the reduced 2021 NFL salary cap was announced, there were questions regarding how the 49ers were going to be able to find workarounds in free agency. They responded by re-signing Trent Williams and Kyle Juszczyk to record-setting contracts for their positions.
Then later, on March 26, when club announced that were making a monster trade to move up from No. 12 to the No. 3 spot in the 2021 NFL Draft, more financial questions arose. Would the 49ers be able to keep Garoppolo on the books after signing him to a five-year, $147.5 million contract in 2018?
The 49ers brass has been consistent about declaring their desire to keep Garoppolo on the roster while newly drafted No. 3 pick Trey Lance acclimates to life in the NFL.
Coach Kyle Shanahan explained that it is not just lip service, but something that he and general manager John Lynch spoke to owner and CEO Jed York about.
“I always ask if it will fit in the cap and if we’re OK with it,” Shanahan said. “And when I say if we’re OK with it, people have to pay that, and I know Jed and his family are OK with that. I know it fits in the cap so that’s why it feel like its a pretty good situation for us.”
Ideally the 49ers would like to keep Garoppolo under center going forward, benefiting not only the team and the rookie, but the incumbent himself. If the veteran signal caller has a highly productive 2021 season, that not only raises his trade value but his next contract as well.
Both Lynch and Shanahan expressed gratitude to the York family for making their quarterback situation as workable as possible. Allowing both Garoppolo and Lance to remain on the roster in 2021 could prove to be a very beneficial to all parties involved.
“It was a testament to the commitment to our ownership when this process was going on,” Lynch said. “It was a question that we asked and we arrived at a point where that was our preference — to draft a quarterback and to keep Jimmy, provided that someone didn’t come and just completely blow us away.
“They gave us that commitment that we could do that and we’re happy to have that situation right now because we believe it’s a very strong one.”