The San Francisco 49ers got the draft season at warp speed after entering into a blockbuster trade with the Miami Dolphins that saw them rise to 3rd place overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. That move from # 12 to # 3 required a treasure trove of Niners picks (three top classics, to be precise) and now prepares the franchise to pick a quarterback to lead them for the foreseeable future. While one would think that a deal of this magnitude would make current starter Jimmy Garoppolo available through the trade, the 49ers insist they keep him on board for 2021 and try to fight as they develop who they go through April -Select draft.
During a press conference on Monday, 49ers GM John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke about this seismic trade and found that both of them contacted Garoppolo to let him know about the team’s plans.
“Obviously nobody wants to hear that,” Shanahan said of his conversation with Garoppolo as he wrapped him up in the deal. “I know he wasn’t as excited as you’d expect. Jimmy did it great, as he always has. We were very direct and I told him how we felt. That doesn’t change anything on his circumstances at the moment. He’s still coming here trying to run this team. I told him how excited I was that the free agency was doing a lot better than expected when we signed a lot more of our own players When we thought we have a really good team coming back here. We still plan for him to lead us and bring us with him as far as possible. ”
Lynch added that Garoppolo “is still part of our plans,” suggesting that trading is not their primary intent right now.
“We don’t think these two things have to be mutually exclusive,” said Lynch, who noted that just because they add a young quarterback doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll move Garoppolo. “The opportunity to act and possibly find a man who can be a big part of our future and to keep Jimmy, who we are very keen on and for whom some positive things are happening this off-season, is kind of a plan, too that we came to. ”
For those who may not entirely agree with the reason the 49ers are taking this step when they have a quarterback in Garoppolo that they publicly decide, that they still believe in, its durability matters. If Garoppolo is healthy, he has demonstrated the ability to lead San Francisco to the Super Bowl. However, playing 16 games on the field is a rarity for him as he has only made it once in his career. Most of the time, Garoppolo’s season is more similar to 2020, when he only played six games before being sidelined for the year due to injury. While Garoppolo is talented, the 49ers realized on Monday that they needed more stability in position.
“”[Garoppolo’s] I also have a lot of untapped potential, “Shanahan said.” This is a difficult thing for us too. We don’t give up on Jimmy because he can’t play or anything. Jimmy can play. We also like the person too. We also know that in a year we can’t go through what has happened in two of the last three years. This is something we had to protect the organization with, and there are many ways to do it, but it wasn’t just a tough decision that this guy is planning and this guy can’t play. “
While Garoppolo may be the starter of the 49ers for 2021, it is clear that the organization will be moving in a new direction in the near future, starting with whoever they pick in 3rd place overall. With Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson suspected # 1 and # 2, Alabama’s Mac Jones, Justin Fields of Ohio, and Trey Lance of North Dakota remain as possible options for San Francisco while they are delve deeper into their search for a makeover to the franchise.