The quarterback picture in San Francisco may be getting significantly clearer in the coming weeks.
On Wednesday, ESPN reported that the San Francisco 49ers have given Jimmy Garoppolo’s agents permission to seek a trade for the veteran quarterback.
According to ESPN, Garoppolo was cleared to start practicing, but the 49ers were still “expected to exercise caution” with the veteran quarterback during the summer.
The assumption most of the offseason was that Garoppolo would eventually be traded as the 49ers look to begin the Trey Lance era in San Francisco.
Lance has been working as the starter during the 49ers’ offseason program as Garoppolo has worked to rehab the shoulder he injured during the 49ers’ playoff run last season.
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In May, Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters Garoppolo’s offseason shoulder surgery delayed any potential trade.
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“I expect him at some time most likely to be traded but, who knows, it’s not a guarantee,” Shanahan said, according to the NFL Network. “It’s been on hold when (surgery) happened. And when he’s healthy, we will see what happens.”
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Garoppolo is entering the final year of his contract and would count for $26.95 million against the salary cap if he remained in San Francisco.
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The 49ers drafted Garoppolo’s replacement in the 2021 NFL Draft, selecting Lance with the No. 3 overall pick out of North Dakota State. Lance saw limited playing time in 2021, starting in two games and attempting 71 passes on the year.
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His teammates have been supportive of the second-year quarterback, with tight end George Kittle giving Lance high praise in April.
“He reminds me the most of Josh Allen,” Kittle said on the “I Am Athlete” podcast. “Josh Allen is established, and Trey has to prove that on the football field, but I think he can move the chains with his feet. He’s a big body. He can take hits. He wants to make plays. He’s got a cannon of an arm, it’s crazy.”
The 49ers report to training camp on July 26.