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49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo find an unexpected win-win

Mike Florio wonders what the San Francisco 49ers will do with Trey Lance if Jimmy Garappolo starts, after the big trade they made to get Lance in the NFL draft.

The 49ers said they were done with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. If it was a ruse, they were very committed to it.

The better explanation for the unexpected decision by the 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo to stick it out is that Garoppolo realized he couldn’t do better -- and the 49ers realized they could do a lot worse.

Chris Simms made the case for it on Monday’s PFT Live. The 49ers need insurance against Trey Lance getting injured or being, you know, not good. Garoppolo needs to not play for whichever team happens to have an injury to a starting quarterback, or as the none-of-the-above option for a team like the Seahawks.

Worst-scenario for Garoppolo? He gets $6.5 million per year and becomes a free agent in March, with the playoff run he helped author in 2021 his closing argument. And the 49ers avoid the worst-case scenario of Lance getting hurt or not being the guy.

Best-case scenario for Garoppolo? He wins a Super Bowl and drives off in something way nicer than a Hyundai, since he’ll hit the open market roughly a month later. Best-case scenario for the 49ers? They win a Super Bowl.

The end result was predictable in the offseason. Take advantage of Jimmy’s unwillingness to rock the boat. Squat on his rights through the preseason. Eventually made him a dramatically reduced contract offer in late August. Save millions to keep him around as the backup.

The 49ers apparently didn’t plan this, but they arguably couldn’t have planned it any better.