The 49ers have put themselves in a position to get valuable quarterback prospect.
San Francisco acquired the # 3 on next month’s NFL draft on Friday in a deal that sent the # 12, the first round picks in 2022 and 2023, and a third round pick in 2022 to Miami.
The deal gives the 49ers the chance to grab one of four quarterbacks expected to be picked soon after the Jaguars-Clemson Trevor Lawrence # 1 design: Zach Wilson of BYU, Justin Fields of Ohio State, Trey Lance of North Dakota State or Mac Jones of Alabama. Given the price they paid to climb up, the 49ers are clearly happy with the QB, which drops them down to 3rd place.
According to ESPN, the 49ers are “holding on” to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and have “no plans” to trade him.
General Manager John Lynch was in Provo, Utah on Friday morning to watch Wilson perform BYU’s pro day. The number 2 Jets that were seen as a likely team for Wilson had head coach Robert Saleh, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur and GM Joe Douglas on hand.
Given the likelihood of Lawrence and Wilson stepping down from the board, the 49ers had to take either Fields or Lance after the deal. However, Daniel Jeremiah, design analyst for the NFL network, said Jones could be the QB the 49ers covet.
Jones was widely regarded as the draft’s fifth-rated QB and the one who likely wouldn’t be selected among the top 10 picks. However, Jones is the type of classic dropback quarterback that 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has worked with for most of his career.
“There are people in the league when this went down they alerted me, ‘Hey, don’t sleep here on Mac Jones,” said Jeremiah, a former NFL scout. “And if you look at it and say,’ With who did Kyle succeed? … From a skill standpoint, he kind of fits in with what Kyle always had. “
It’s possible the 49ers are trading with the 29-year-old Garoppolo, who has missed 23 of his last 48 games due to injuries. The Patriots are very interested in Garoppolo this off-season, according to several reports, which they traded in 2017 for a selection in the second round against the 49ers.
However, when asked about a possible upgrade at the backup quarterback in December, Shanahan mentioned how the Chiefs handled their QB situation in 2017. Kansas City swapped 17 spots to pick future NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes in 10th place overall, but kept him on the bench as a rookie as Alex Smith started her first 15 games. Kansas City traded Smith to Washington in March 2018.
Shanahan said there’s one problem with a seasoned backup quarterback who can do like a starter: these second stringers are expensive. Then he temporarily noticed another way to deal with the backup spot: “Unless (a team moved in) a man and then had their starter from the year before – someone like Alex and what they had with Patrick. So it’s a very common thing. “
49er get: Select No. 3 in the draft of 2021.
Dolphins get: No. 12 pick in 2021; first round picks in 2022, 2023; 2022 selection in the third round.
49ers design: San Francisco has 20 picks in 2021.
Garoppolo counts $ 26.4 million towards the salary cap this season. But his cap fee isn’t a burden on the 49ers, who have $ 19.7 million capped space, according to OverTheCap.com, after keeping seven starters with renewals or signings since March 14.
With a rookie QB prepped for the job, the 49ers could part ways with Garoppolo in 2022 when he has $ 27 million off the cap and their financial situation gets tougher. The 49ers have signed many of their top players due in 2022. For example, Trent Williams, George Kittle and defenseman Arik Armstead will add up to $ 24.1 million against the cap this season. Their combined cap will be $ 50.2 million in 2022.
Additionally, the 49ers are likely to sign all-pro linebacker Fred Warner for an extension this off-season and Pro Bowl rusher Nick Bosa for an extension in 2022.
The 49ers would save about $ 20 million in 2022 without Garoppolo and with a starting QB on a rookie contract. For example, last year’s number 3 Detroit cornerback Jeff Okudah will count $ 7.6 million against the Lions cap this season.
The 49ers don’t desperately need the draft 2021 capital they could get by trading Garoppolo. They don’t have massive squad gaps after working in the free agency and they still have nine picks, even though only two (# 3 and 43) are in the top 100.
Another reason to keep Garoppolo on at least until close of trading in the 2021 midseason: NFL teams are expected to have a virtual offseason program for the second year in a row, meaning a rookie QB who is hard at learning Shanahan’s complex System mandated not to attend his first NFL training session until training camp in late July.
The patient approach with a rookie would be particularly useful if the 49ers kept an eye on Lance, who – unlike Fields – already performed on his pro day. Lance only started 17 times against the FCS competition when he was attending the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
Former Saints and Dolphins general manager Randy Mueller sees Lawrence and Wilson as the only quarterbacks for Week 1 on this year’s draft.
“You’ll be gone with the first two picks,” said Mueller, the NFL manager of 2000 who was a Chargers manager from 2008 to 2018. are not polished. The NFL game will be at a different pace for them.
“I just don’t see a polished product that would make you say, ‘Hey, this is our guy, let’s go.'”
Eric Branch covers the 49ers for The San Francisco Chronicle. Email: email@example.com Twitter: @Eric_Branch