Jimmy Garoppolo’s no-trade clause unlikely to become a factor

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Kyle Madson
·2 min read
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Jimmy Garoppolo has a no-trade clause in his contract for this year. While rumors swirl about the 49ers’ quarterback situation, all signs point to Garoppolo returning as San Francisco’s starter in 2021. If he returns though it won’t be because he holds that no-trade clause.

If the 49ers get into a situation where they do involve Garoppolo in a trade, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where he doesn’t waive his right to deny a trade.

The 49ers have remained steadfast in their support for and belief in their quarterback, and the number of legitimate upgrades available has dwindled from whatever small number it was already at. A scenario where they’re moving on from him seems like a long shot, but what the trade looks like doesn’t really matter.

Should San Francisco work out a trade involving their quarterback, Garoppolo would have two options.

First, he could accept the trade and play for his new team on the deal he signed with the 49ers that’s due to earn him north of $26 million this season.

Second, he could invoke his no-trade clause. While that would crater any deal, it would probably lead the 49ers to cut him. He’d still count for just $2.8 million against the salary cap, and he’d find himself in a free agent market that wouldn’t be liable to pay him the $25 million he’s set to earn if he accepts a trade.

The latter choice seems like a counterproductive choice that would set his career on a path that goes dramatically opposite from the one than if he lands on a club that would continue paying him to be their starting quarterback.

If Garoppolo is willing to waive his no-trade clause, it’s not because he’s tired of being the subject of media-driven trade rumors or because there are questions about the team’s commitment to him. It’s because that would be the logical, smart choice to make.

All that being said, the odds he gets traded this offseason are growing slimmer, and it’s unlikely his no-trade clause ever becomes relevant.