Earlier today, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk broke down the San Francisco 49ers’ options with their veteran quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo. In the breakdown, Florio speculated that the current conundrum could force the Bay Area team to do the unthinkable—keep Garoppolo in 2022.

“They could even re-do his deal to convert some of the money he’s due to earn into incentives, based on playing time and/or performance,” Florio wrote. “Let him compete. If he’s better than Lance, let him play.”

Florio wasn’t done, though. He published a second article looking at another of the three possible outcomes. Obviously, the chances of the 49ers landing the haul they hoped to acquire via a trade have greatly diminished. While general manager John Lynch has stated that the team is willing to keep Garoppolo and last year’s No. 3 overall pick, Trey Lance, on the roster if necessary, that is probably a last-resort option.

Garoppolo is set to count nearly $27 million against the salary cap in 2022. So if Lance is the clear starter from here on out, keeping the veteran passer on the roster at that price doesn’t make much sense.

Florio adds that Garoppolo’s recent shoulder surgery, which will keep him from throwing for any team until closer to training camp, surprised the 49ers.

Wrote Florio: “Throw in the fact that Garoppolo had the surgery without consulting with the 49ers, and it makes every team that otherwise would be interested in Garoppolo very leery.”

A source told Florio that the shoulder surgery has kept what could have been several potentially interested teams away. Now, the list of quarterback-needy teams has reduced to the point where a trade looks unlikely, thanks to Garoppolo’s hefty salary and the fact that he isn’t healthy.

“The most likely result, the source predicted, is that the 49ers will have to cut him,” Florio wrote. “With none of Garoppolo’s salary becoming guaranteed until the eve of Week One, the 49ers can wait it out. But they won’t get cap relief without cutting him. And because he’s in the last year of his contract, cutting him would leave behind only $1.4 million in dead money — and it would instantly create more than $25 million in cap space.”

With the initial expectation that everything might be settled by the start of the new league year on March 16, it doesn’t look like the Garoppolo storyline will go away anytime soon.