Jimmy Garoppolo’s busy offseason is only getting started. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Wednesday that the 49ers gave the quarterback and his agents permission to seek a trade. Shortly before this development, Garoppolo had been cleared to practice with the team following surgery in March.

Talk of the 49ers dealing Garoppolo has persisted for several months and intensified in May when Head Coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that the quarterback would likely be traded. Garoppolo’s surgery was reportedly responsible for the delay, and Schefter said that the 49ers are still “expected to exercise caution” as they explore options this summer.

In five seasons with the 49ers, Garoppolo has led the team in two lengthy postseason runs. In 2019, he threw for 3,978 passing yards and 27 touchdowns as San Francisco went 13-3 in the regular season. They lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl.

This past year, Garoppolo’s only other healthy season as a starter, the team snuck into the playoffs with a 10-7 record but upset the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers to advance to the NFC Championship Game. They lost 20-17 to the Los Angeles Rams, who went on to win the Super Bowl.

Based on his successful postseason resume, it’s clear that the 49ers aren’t looking for other options because of Garoppolo’s time on the field. By most measures, he appears to be a strong leader with a proven track record. But because of multiple injuries, his time off the field seems to be the primary issue.

Since 2018, Garoppolo has failed to complete two seasons with the team, and in those years, San Francisco earned a 10-22 combined record. With his most recent surgery in mind, the quarterback becomes even more of a liability.

Despite injury concerns, multiple teams are likely to inquire about Garoppolo as the season approaches. With Deshaun Watson in line for a lengthy suspension, the Cleveland Browns appear to be prime trade candidates with the cap space necessary to take on his contract, but many other teams could benefit from Garoppolo’s experience for the right price. The fight for Garoppolo is unlikely to turn into the sweepstakes that many other quarterbacks have enjoyed as free agents in recent years, but the upside for some teams will surely outweigh the potential hazards.

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