PALM BEACH, Fla. — John Lynch and the 49ers were surprised Jimmy Garoppolo needed surgery on his throwing shoulder.
The general manager spoke while at the NFL Annual Meetings and detailed how the scenario played out for the team and their veteran quarterback.
Lynch shared that trade talks for Garoppolo with other teams had quite a bit of momentum prior to the NFL Scouting Combine in the first week of March. Those conversations came to a screeching halt after news broke that the quarterback was due to have surgery on his throwing shoulder.
“The decision that was made for Jimmy to have surgery certainly caused a lot of teams to pause and at least slow down the process to do their due diligence,” Lynch said. “He made a decision for his long term, along with doctors that he needed that surgery. We all blessed that, but that did affect his market. So now we hold onto him.”
Lynch was emphatic that players' health is a priority but Garoppolo needing the procedure was unexpected. The original plan was a different scenario entirely.
“I think the plan from everyone -- from our docs, from the second opinion doc -- was, ’let’s try to let rehab fix this,’” Lynch said. “And that was the overwhelming thought, that it would. When he went back for the next visit, the decision was made that it wasn’t improving and that they were going to take that course of action.”
Following successful surgery, Garoppolo has been rehabbing in Los Angeles. He is not scheduled to be able to throw a football until July, which is closer to the start of training camp.
Not being able to practice until training camp is not necessarily an obstacle for a player returning to the same team, it could hamper the acclimation process when joining a new roster, especially at the quarterback position.
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While the surgery slowed trade talks, Lynch said the team has no plans of cutting Garoppolo or “giving him away.” Lynch says the 49ers are happy to move forward with Garoppolo, Trey Lance and Nate Sudfeld all on the roster.
“We spoke to the doctors and when we all realized that it was deemed to be the best course of action, we blessed it, we supported it. It’s not ideal for any quarterback on their throwing shoulder but I think getting context -- there’s no minor surgery when it’s your throwing shoulder but it was relatively minor.
“He’s doing great, I can tell you that. His rehab is going extremely well and I think the prognosis is excellent.”
Once Garoppolo returns to full health, trade talks may again heat up. But with most teams having filled their quarterback need for the 2022 season, there are significantly fewer options.