originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
While the 49ers continue to play the Jimmy Garoppolo waiting game, the veteran quarterback finds himself in an awkward position at training camp.
“When the other 89 men on the San Francisco roster are practicing outside, Garoppolo is usually inside, or on his way home,” Peter King of NBC Sports filed in his “Football Morning in America” column Sunday night. “I heard he does not have a playbook, does not attend quarterback or team meetings and barely knows new quarterbacks coach Brian Griese.”
As San Francisco gets deeper into its preseason schedule, the 49ers’ plan for Garoppolo has not changed. The team will either trade Garoppolo to a club in need of stability under center or release the veteran quarterback by the time rosters are trimmed from 80 players down to 53 on Aug. 30.
The 49ers are incentivized to keep Garoppolo away from team meetings and from learning the latest tweaks to coach Kyle Shanahan’s playbook in case he winds up on the roster of a rival team like the Seattle Seahawks, currently hosting a rather unexciting quarterback battle between Drew Lock and Geno Smith.
The other possibility for Garoppolo to find a new home is if a bona fide starting quarterback for another team suffers a serious injury.
When New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson went down with a knee injury in a preseason tilt Friday night, Garoppolo’s name began circling in trade rumors. However, Wilson reportedly avoided serious damage to his knee and will return in the next month, crossing off the Jets as a possible Garoppolo destination. For now, at least.
At 49ers camp, Garoppolo has been seen off to the side of the practice fields, working through his throwing program and slapping high fives with the 49ers Faithful.
King’s column that revealed Garoppolo is operating without a playbook depicts the 30-year-old as distant, which has been a theme across his five-plus years with the organization.
Last week, Mike Silver of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Garoppolo was unreachable after his introductory press conference in 2018 that announced his five-year deal worth $137.5 million
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“Once he left that press conference, nobody heard from him for weeks and weeks,” recalled one member of that coaching staff to Silver. “He didn’t return calls, he didn’t return texts — he basically just vanished. And we were looking at each other going, ‘What just happened?’
As the 49ers prepare to unleash a new-look offense with second-year quarterback Trey Lance under center, Garoppolo awaits his NFL future.
And when the time comes to officially part ways with the 49ers, Garoppolo won’t even have a playbook to turn in.