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

Maybe that’s what’s holding up a trade with Jimmy Garoppolo.

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

“They’re moving Jimmy Garoppolo, and that’s not a problem,” Matt Barrows of The Athletic told KNBR on Thursday. Murph and Mac To display. “He goes and [frees up] $25 million in ceiling space. … What I mean is, I just wonder if teams are using this delay as leverage against the 49ers.

“Maybe that’s one of the reasons – the shoulder being another reason – to kind of drag this out and get them to accept a deal that doesn’t give them as much compensation.

“The 49ers can do a lot of other things – restructure [tight end] George Kittle. They can extend [safety] Jimmy Ward. They can cut this type, cut this type to go under this limit. But they must be below par [next] So on Wednesday they have to do some things that they wouldn’t normally want to do, I think, unless they trade Jimmy Garoppolo.”

On Wednesday, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported that the 49ers were fielding multiple calls from teams interested in Garoppolo. With Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson out of the market, Garoppolo suddenly becomes a desirable option for a desperate starting quarterback organization. Additionally, Washington Commanders acquired Carson Wentz from the Colts, adding Indianapolis to the quarterback-needy teams.

Rapoport reported “significant interest” from the Colts, which becomes a possible destination for Garoppolo, depending on the price. It may make sense for a team to wait if they believe the price may drop.

“I have to believe that’s part of the equation here,” Barrows added. “A smart team, looking at the situation, will say, ‘Hey, let’s kind of leave them until Monday and Tuesday, and see if we can’t get them to agree to a deal that’s more favorable for us. “

You can listen to the entire conversation with Barrows below.