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Why the 49ers Probably will Trade Jimmy Garoppolo this Offseason

The 49ers don't have to trade Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason, but they probably will.

The 49ers don't have to trade Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason, but they probably will.

They could keep him, sure, but not on his current contract. It's too expensive for 2021. The 49ers gave it to him expecting the salary cap would go up to roughly $220 million this year. Instead, it went down, and will be roughly $180 million because of the pandemic.

Meaning Garoppolo would take up about 14.9 percent of the 49ers cap space, which would be way too high. The 49ers can't win a Super Bowl with one player making that much money. No team has in the history of NFL free agency.

So the 49ers would have to renegotiate Garoppolo's contract and extend it to keep him. And they easily could extend it -- they could do it today. They could have extended it last year.

But they didn't. And they probably won't.

Because the 49ers don't seem to want to extend Garoppolo's contract. Don't seem to want to commit themselves to him long term. Instead, they want to maintain the ability to move him at any time. So I think they'll move him soon. As in this offseason.

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The 49ers can't say that, of course. They have to say Garoppolo is their quarterback until they finalize a deal to send him out of town, because there always is a possibility they won't finalize deal. A small possibility. So they have to be careful with what they say.

But the Patriots will have $57 million in cap space next season, and they developed Jimmy Garoppolo. They traded him to the 49ers reluctantly, according to reports, because they couldn't afford to keep both him and Tom Brady. 

But now, Brady is gone and the Patriots have no quarterback. And their head coach, Bill Belichick, is one of the oldest coaches in the NFL. He might not want to spend the time developing another young quarterback.

He might just want the quarterback he developed already.

I expect the 49ers to send Garoppolo home, and use the picks they get from New England to land a new quarterback.

Who will that new quarterback be?

Stay tuned.