The San Francisco 49ers made a blockbuster trade with the Miami Dolphins to move up to No. 3 in the 2021 NFL Draft. And that can only mean that GM John Lynch is ready to draft a replacement for incumbent QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
But in a recent interview, Lynch said that Garoppolo remains a part of his plans for the team. Lynch added that Garoppolo “welcomes competition” and that they don’t want to see him go.
“The message was that he is still very much a part of our plans…” Lynch said. “Jimmy welcomes competition. We felt like we had a team that can compete… We went to ownership, said ‘Hey things are looking good, we want to make this (trade), but we don’t want to say goodbye to Jimmy.'”
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan echoed Lynch’s sentiment. He told the media that the team still plans to have Garoppolo as their starting quarterback.
Lynch and Shanahan both spoke to Jimmy Garoppolo after Friday’s trade… Shanahan spoke to him immediately.
Lynch: “The message was that he is still very much a part of our plans… Jimmy welcomes competition."
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) March 29, 2021
Jimmy Garoppolo has two years remaining on his contract, but the 49ers can get out of that deal pretty easily. They can conceivably let a rookie quarterback (be it Mac Jones, Justin Fields or Trey Lance) sit behind Garoppolo and just name the rookie the starter the following year like the Chiefs did with Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes.
Obviously it’s possible that everything the 49ers brass has said is just lip service. Plenty of teams commit to a player at QB and then let him go later.
But the fact that other teams don’t seem to be falling over themselves to acquire Garoppolo in a trade probably means that the 49ers won’t be “blown away” by offers as Shanahan said it would take.
Will Jimmy Garoppolo start for the 49ers this year?