Jimmy Garoppolo can officially return to the practice field – and start searching for his next home.

The 49ers have given their quarterback and his agents permission to seek a trade, ESPN reported Wednesday afternoon, adding that Garoppolo has been cleared for practice after March shoulder surgery.

Of course, this is no surprise for anyone who’s been following the Garoppolo saga this offseason. The team has signaled its desire for a trade since Garoppolo’s season-ending press conference in which he said goodbye to the Bay Area media members who had covered him since midway through the 2017 season.

The 49ers plan to go ahead with 2021 No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance under center, clearing the way to move on from Garoppolo and his cap hit of nearly $27 million.

Garoppolo has been rehabbing the shoulder since March, leaving the trade market unsure of his value while he recovered. But according to the NFL Network, surgeon Neal ElAttrache, who performed the surgery, recently checked up on the quarterback and surmised that all signs point to full recovery. He may have to wait until mid-August for clearance to throw daily, though.

San Francisco opens training camp next Wednesday and is scheduled to begin the preseason Aug. 12 against the Packers. The 49ers are also slated to practice in Minnesota along with the Vikings on Aug. 17 and 18 ahead of their Aug. 20 game, and then will close out the preseason Aug. 25 in Houston.


Whether Garoppolo is cleared yet to play in preseason games or even participate fully in any camp practices is unknown. The 49ers could place him on the physically-unable-to-perform list at the start of camp, thus keeping him off the field while he rehabilitates that shoulder, which he injured in a wild-card playoff win at Dallas.

OBITUARY: Former NFL receiver Charles Johnson, a first-round pick of the Steelers in 1994 who also won a Super Bowl with the 2001 New England Patriots, has died at the age of 50.

The news was confirmed by Heritage High School in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where Johnson worked as a coach and assistant athletic director. The cause of Johnson’s death has not yet been reported.

Johnson played nine NFL seasons. After five seasons in Pittsburgh, Johnson went on to play for the Eagles and Patriots before finishing his career with the Bills in 2002.

Johnson was a part of the Patriots’ famous 2001 Super Bowl run, playing in 14 games that season and catching 14 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. He caught two passes in the Patriots’ win over the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game that year.

BRONCOS: The Denver Post is reporting that, pending approval by the NFL’s Finance Committee, the Walton-Penner Ownership Group’s will have its purchase of the Broncos finalized Aug. 9 in Minneapolis.

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