Jimmy Garoppolo's future as the 49ers' starting quarterback beyond this season reportedly is "still under evaluation," with the team taking a "wait and see" approach with his future heading into 2021.
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, citing "multiple league and team sources," reported Sunday morning that the 49ers are "very much keeping [their] options open" at QB moving forward. Garoppolo is not owed any guaranteed money in the final two years of his contract after this season, and the 49ers would carry only $1.4 million in dead cap if he is traded or cut after June 1.
"It could go in a few different directions, and is it possible he's not the guy next year? That's fair," a source with knowledge of the situation told La Canfora. "I don't think that's lost on anybody."
The 49ers acquired Garoppolo in a trade with the New England Patriots in 2017, signing him to a five-year contract worth $48.7 million in guaranteed money the following offseason. Garoppolo missed all but three games in 2018 with a torn ACL, bouncing back last season to lead the 49ers to Super Bowl LIV.
A lackluster performance leading to a blown fourth-quarter lead over the Kansas City Chiefs led to an offseason of questions about Garoppolo, with general manager John Lynch, coach Kyle Shanahan, All-Pro tight end George Kittle and numerous other teammates caping on the record for the QB.
The whispers nonetheless persist. Six weeks into the 2020 season, the 49ers are .500 going into Garoppolo's first game against the Patriots. Garoppolo missed two games with a high ankle sprain, returning in Week 5 and getting benched after a disastrous first half against the Miami Dolphins. Garoppolo threw for a season-high 268 yards and three touchdowns in a Week 6 win over the Los Angeles Rams, with the QB quickly delivering the ball to his skill players and relying on them to make plays after the catch.
La Canfora noted that two quarterbacks who have played for Shanahan -- Kirk Cousins and Matt Ryan -- could become free agents this offseason, and Shanahan himself said the 49ers passed on Patrick Mahomes in the 2017 NFL Draft, at least in part, because the 49ers thought they would sign Cousins as a free agent the following offseason.
Perhaps Garoppolo can stem the speculation about his future with a win over his former team Sunday, but that wouldn't be anything but temporary. Until the 49ers make a decision one way or another this offseason (or sooner), Garoppolo's status is going to be a question mark.