The San Francisco 49ers welcomed the stay of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo under a restructured contract just before the start of the 2022 season, but head coach Kyle Shanahan is not necessarily ruling out the possibility of a trade, despite failed efforts to do so in the offseason.
The difference is a new potential opening after Week 1 in the NFL.
During a press conference Monday, Shanahan was asked about the possibility of sending Grappolo to the Dallas Cowboys after an injury to Cowboy quarterback Dak Prescott’s throwing hand that could leave him sidelined for 6-8 weeks.
“Just like all players, we’ll listen to anybody on anything,” he said, via The Athletic. “That never changes for any player or coach. We’ll always listen to anybody.”
Late last month, the Niners agreed to a new restructured contract that would keep Grappolo on as a backup quarterback, and the highest paid one at that. The move came after San Francisco failed to find any opportunities for the young quarterback just months removed from taking the 49ers to the NFC Championship.
“We were always clear to Jimmy that salary cap-wise and a backup role and supporting Trey [Lance], if that worked for him, that was a no-brainer for us,” Shanahan said at the time.
He agreed to reduce his 2022 salary from a non-guaranteed $24.2 million to a guaranteed $6.5 million with the chance to make about $9 million more in roster and playing time bonuses. It also included a no-trade clause and prevents San Francisco from using the franchise tag on Garoppolo next offseason.
A starting role in Dallas could be an appealing opportunity for Grappolo, but owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday that following Prescott’s surgery, he could come back after four weeks.
He also noted that the Cowboys will likely rely on backups Cooper Rush or Will Grier in Prescott’s absence.
“Those guys know the offense well, they’ve had a lot of reps in it and, consequently, give us our best shot. It’s unlikely, since we don’t have any potential trade pending – not pending but in the mill – it’s unlikely that you’d have a veteran quarterback that could get back in here and be ready to play as well as those guys can play, even if you thought you might have a talent advantage.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.