The San Francisco 49ers have positioned themselves to select a highly touted signal-caller and keep Jimmy Garoppolo for the immediate future.
There's no rush to get the new guy, whomever it ends up being, which means the 49ers are in the catbird's seat when it comes to the position. They can roll with Garoppolo as the starter and leave their first-round pick on the bench to learn -- and they can ask for the highest compensation for Garoppolo when receiving calls from interested suitors.
The asking price for Garoppolo is a first-round pick, NFL Network's Mike Giardi reported.
That return would be larger than what San Francisco gave up (a 2018 second-round pick) to pry Garoppolo from New England's grasp back in 2017, and would be a maximization of any potential return on investment.
The 49ers setting a first-round price for Garoppolo comes a week removed from them moving up from No. 12 to No. 3 in the 2021 NFL Draft in a trade with the Dolphins. Amid the trade frenzy, though, NFL Network's Steve Wyche reported that 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told him Garoppolo remained in the team's plans. Shanahan and GM John Lynch confirmed as much when speaking with reporters earlier this week.
San Francisco doesn't have to trade Garoppolo any time soon, if at all. The quarterback is under contract through 2022, carries a minimal dead cap hit and is still San Francisco's starter. The 49ers have wisely adopted a public stance that includes Garoppolo as their starter and in the team's plans, too, preventing any loss of leverage on their part.
Over time, that could change, but with their partnership secured for only one more year, the timing is ideal for San Francisco to negotiate for the best possible return. Only the most desperate teams should even consider picking up the phone to dial the 49ers, it seems.
Is that team New England?
Cam Newton 's one-year deal is guaranteed for only $3.5 million and carries a base value of $5.1 million, per Over The Cap, and as Giardi pointed out Friday, that's backup money, not a starter's salary. Newton is an adequate contingency plan that can certainly play in 2021, but the Patriots are also very much positioned to make additional moves to address the position if they so desire, be it through the draft, free agency or a trade.
A reunion of Garoppolo and New England almost makes too much sense. It probably isn't as logical if it requires a first-round pick, though, meaning we could be headed toward a staring contest in which not even the strongest gust of wind and driest air will cause San Francisco to blink.
If you come calling for Garoppolo, Friday's report indicates you best come correct.