Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers open to QB returning in 2023

Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers might not be moving on from each other just yet.

A few months after the team and Garoppolo amicably decided to move on, only to get back together again in a wild sequence of events that led to him being their starting QB once again, both sides are open to him being back for the 2023 season, sources say.

It's early with plenty of season left, but that scenario is not off the table.

Garoppolo takes the 7-4 Niners into their showdown today against the Dolphins having led his team to four straight victories. Trey Lance, who began the season as the starter, is on injured reserve and out for the season following September ankle surgery.

The 49ers moved on from Garoppolo before the 2022 season, embracing Lance as the starter and giving permission to Jimmy G to seek a trade. Both sides were motivated to make it happen. But his shoulder surgery in the spring, which saw him medically cleared in August, shut down any trade market.

The team and Garoppolo ultimately agreed on a one-year renegotiated deal worth $6.5 million fully guaranteed with the chance to make a total of $16 million with incentives. It included a clause that prevented the team from franchise tagging him this offseason.

The 49ers and Garoppolo have maintained a good relationship throughout, and the team is still appreciative of his willingness to work out on the rehab field during training camp at a point when he could've simply said he didn't want to and forced his release. That would've ended it.

But Garoppolo didn't, and all parties benefitted.

With Lance rehabbing and still learning to utilize his immense talents after being out nearly all season, there is a scenario that would lead to Jimmy G back in San Francisco for 2023. While the two sides have yet to discuss options for next year, a short-term deal might make sense for everyone.

Either way, Garoppolo should be one of the most coveted free-agent QBs this offseason, set to cash in again.

With friendly faces in town, including former S.F. assistant coach Mike McDaniel, Garoppolo made some news this week when he said the Dolphins were one of the teams that was a potential landing spot for him this past offseason. But there was nothing there, and no offer was made.

In the end, Garoppolo staying in San Francisco to run the offense and continue to engineer wins helped save the 49ers' season. And thanks in part to the success of 2022, there could be at least one more season to come.

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