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Jimmy Garoppolo

NFL teams must be at or below the $208.2 million salary cap by the start of the new league year on Wednesday, March 16. That creates a key date for the San Francisco 49ers, who OverTheCap estimates are currently $4.5 million over that limit.

That’s what may be holding up a Jimmy Garoppolo trade.

NFL teams know that the 49ers need to get below that salary-cap mark by next week. So really, there may be no rush to overspend for Garoppolo, who is probably the best-available quarterback right now. As that critical date approaches, interested NFL teams might believe San Francisco feels the pressure to move Garoppolo. It might require a little roster maneuvering or some creating contract restructures to get under the cap if they can’t.

“They move Jimmy Garoppolo, and that’s not an issue,” The Athletic’s Matt Barrows said Thursday on KNBR’s Murph & Mac show. “He goes away and [frees up] $25 million in cap space. … My point is I just wonder whether teams are using that deadline as leverage against the 49ers.

“This is maybe one of the reasons—the shoulder being another reason—to sort of drag this out and sort of get them to agree to a deal that doesn’t give them quite as much compensation.

Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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