Jimmy Garoppolo September 18, 2022; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) passes the football against the Seattle Seahawks during the second quarter at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

After the San Francisco 49ers announced Trey Lance as their starting quarterback earlier this year, the race was on to move former starter Jimmy Garoppolo to another team.

Several teams expressed interest. According to ESPN, one of those teams seemed close to a deal.

“According to multiple league sources, the Niners believed one of those teams — the Washington Commanders — was poised to become Garoppolo’s next NFL home,” ESPN reported.

That didn’t happen, of course. The Commanders and other NFL teams soured on Garoppolo when news broke that he would have shoulder surgery in March.

The Commanders went on to trade with the Indianapolis Colts to land Carson Wentz as their starter. As it turned out, the 49ers were fortunate they failed in their efforts to unload Garoppolo, as he’s now stepped in to replace Lance, who suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2.

When the trade market went cold for Garoppolo, the 49ers reached a restructured one-year deal with him to back up Lance. That incentive-laden contract could see him earn an additional $5.6 million this year as a starter.

As the old sports adage goes, sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make.

The 49ers, off to a 1-1 start despite losing Lance and their starting running back (Elijah Mitchell) in back-to-back games, face the Denver Broncos on the road Sunday night.


About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.