With the NFL’s 52-man roster deadline and other factors looming, the 49ers are feeling the pressure in regards to their looming Jimmy Garoppolo decision.
How much is a win worth in the NFL? There are a number of ways that could be accounted for by an NFL general manager, but the breakeven decision-making number for John Lynch this week might be $12.25 million.
That number is half the total of the cap space the San Fransisco 49ers would save if they cut Jimmy Garoppolo before tomorrow’s 52-man roster deadline, which hits at 4 p.m. Eastern. As of now, though, the only team that seems to be currently interested in trading for Jimmy G is the Seattle Seahawks, division rivals for the Niners. They’ll play the Seahawks twice this season as usual, so one could ostensibly say that from a pure business standpoint, that’s what a win is worth for this particular decision with such a small pool of interested teams.
We know Lynch is including that dynamic in his calculus for the decision thanks to reporting from Jordan Schultz:
49ers need to make a decision fast with Jimmy Garoppolo
The Niners would certainly love to move Garoppolo to get something in return for him now before the cap hit. The Niners, though, who have telegraphed their decision to make Jordan Love QB1, have no leverage. Every team knows the Niners want to move Garoppolo and that the wisest financial move may be to release him, allowing teams to obtain his services without having to give up anything in a trade.
The Seahawks may be the only team the Niners can realistically deal with (though the Browns come front of mind, too, with Deshaun Watson out for 11 games due to suspension), which makes for a tough decision. Do you release him and roll the dice on him going to any team but the Seahawks? Or do you assume the worst-case scenario and take what you can get from Seattle to make sure you don’t walk away with nothing to show for Jimmy G plus have to face him twice a year?
After signaling that Jimmy G has no value to them, and firmly hitching their cart to Trey Lance, it turns out that Garoppolo has enough value that the Niners are in prevention mode when it comes to his ultimate destination.
Maybe the best plan is to just move forward with Garoppolo and bite the cost, after all. Besides, what if Lance struggles in his first full season as a starter, or, heaven forbid, gets injured? Are the Niners prepared to let him work through the struggles in a trial by fire?
We’ll see what the decision is by 4 PM tomorrow. The handling of this situation in San Fransisco has been anything but choreographed.