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NFC South is looking very open because of Tampa Bay's unexpected strife
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NFL - US Sports: Niners could retain Garoppolo

General manager John Lynch has denied reports that the San Francisco 49ers received an offer of two second-round picks for Jimmy Garoppolo and said they won't cut the quarterback if no trade materialises.

The 49ers, who are 15/1 to win Super Bowl LVII, decided to move on from the five-year veteran as their starter after losing to the Los Angeles Rams in last January's NFC Championship game.

Writing on the wall

The writing seemed to be on the wall when San Francisco spent a fortune to trade up in the 2021 draft to select QB Trey Lance with the third overall selection.

But Garoppolo's trade market has drastically reduced over the course of the last few weeks as several teams have either traded for other veteran QBs, honed in on the available draft options or - in the case of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - been boosted by Tom Brady's retirement U-turn.

The 30-year-old's $25.5million salary and the timing of his offseason shoulder surgery - which will keep him from throwing until close to training camp - are a couple of reasons Lynch says Garoppolo's strongest suitors never reached the offer stage.

"I think, ultimately, the teams that we were closest with, the surgery gave them pause, and they ended up going in other directions," Lynch said, via ESPN.

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49ers hand not forced

The San Francisco GM said the team budgeted for Garoppolo's $26.95 million cap hit this season, so they don't need to move him on and could carry him on their roster without even having to rework his contract.

"When you make a trade of that magnitude (for Lance), most of our options did not include Jimmy on our books - on our team," he added.

"But you always have to adapt and a series of events happened that it didn't work out. But that's not a bad thing, though. We feel positive with it. And we'll make it work."

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