Why Jimmy G leaving the 49ers is not a lock (0:43)

The 49ers could keep Jimmy Garoppolo if they wanted to. It was 0: 43.

7:16 PM ET

Jimmy Garoppolo is still a member of the San Francisco 49ers, to the surprise of many, perhaps even some of those inside the walls of team headquarters.

The Niners haven't found a taker for Garoppolo on the trade market despite the first week of the new league year. As the game of quarterback musical chairs continues, the amount of open seats has dwindled and the final tunes are about to be played.

Why have the Niners been unable to deal with Garoppolo?

Too many other dominoes

After the 49ers fell to the Los Angeles Rams in the playoffs, general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan mostly played coy about Garoppolo's future, but it was clear from Garoppolo's own news conference that he believed his days were numbered. Garoppolo acknowledged that he and Lynch talked about trade destinations.

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The hope was that Garoppolo would be one of the best quarterbacks available in a market full of teams in need. It looked like that might happen. Tom Brady was a player for the Buccaneers. Green Bay and Seattle appeared to be where Rodgers and Wilson were staying. Nobody knew what to think of Deshaun's pending legal issues.

When Brady said he was coming back, it set off a domino effect that caused a quarterback movement. The Niners were dealt a double blow when Wilson was traded to Denver. The Broncos were removed as a potential suitor and the 49ers would prefer not to trade with them.

The news got worse for the 49ers when the Washington Commanders traded a pair of third-round picks to the Indianapolis Colts for Carson Wentz, in no small part because of Garoppolo's pending right shoulder surgery.

When a Harris County grand jury declined to indict him, he immediately became the object of the remaining QB-focused teams desire. Jameis Winston is returning to the New Orleans Saints, Matt Ryan is going to the Colts, and Marcus Mariota is going to the Atlanta Falcons after all the dominoes dominoes dominoes were tipped over.

If the two most logical landing spots for Baker and Garoppolo are Seattle and Carolina, that's right.

It makes sense that teams in need of quarterback help would want bigger and better options than Garoppolo. Few could have predicted that many would be available.

Shoulder surgery snag

Even if the 49ers had found offers for Garoppolo in February, the news of his shoulder surgery would have thrown a wrench into any deal. Garoppolo probably wouldn't have passed a physical because the trades weren't made official until March 16. The reset button could have been used on the pact.

Garoppolo would miss the entire offseason program for a new team because of his shoulder injury. The Colts and at least one other interested team were concerned about that.

Garoppolo has a lengthy list of injuries. The Niners are moving on from him because of his inability to stay on the field.

The Niners had the chance to start Garoppolo throughout the season and hope he could reestablish his trade value. His injury happened at the worst time for a trade to happen.

'At his ceiling'

There are football reasons that a deal for Garoppolo hasn't come together. Multiple sources outside the organization wondered if Garoppolo is already at his ceiling, and if moving away from a good situation with Shanahan would make it difficult to get production elsewhere.

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It is understandable why a team would be hesitant to give up much in compensation and salary for a player who might be no more than a one.

The Pittsburgh Steelers would rather take a chance on a younger, cheaper and more athletic player likeMitch Trubisky than take a chance on a more experienced player like Antonio Brown.

When and for what are increasingly difficult questions to answer, the Niners could still find a trade partner for Garoppolo. Since he is due a $7.5 million injury guarantee, hanging on to him would provide some financial benefit. Since Garoppolo isn't able to participate in the offseason program anyway, Lance will get the starter's reps.

Something is going to have to change eventually. Retaining Garoppolo for more certainty about Lance's progress is an option, but it's hard to imagine a scenario where Garoppolo is back on his current contract.

Releasing Garoppolo would save the team $18 million, with the other $7.5 million coming back once he signs with another team. It seems unlikely at this point, since things can change elsewhere with injuries or draft plans. It can be ruled out down the line.

It appears that more patience is required before a resolution is found.