As the door closes shut on an underwhelming 49ers season, San Francisco must determine what to do with Jimmy Garoppolo.
The team's starting quarterback has been banged up for most of 2020, dealing with a high-ankle sprain. The 49ers limped along to a 6-9 record, but even with Garoppolo on the field didn't look like a fearsome competitor.
Reporters asked Kyle Shanahan what he thought of the team's quarterback situation going in 2021. Just over a month ago, he said that he expected Garoppolo to be the 49ers starter next year.
But on Monday, the fourth-year head coach spoke earnestly about his quarterback room with just one game remaining in San Francisco's season.
"Yes, I do believe Jimmy's going to be our quarterback next year," Shanahan said
#49ers Kyle Shanahan on if Jimmy Garoppolo will be 2021 starter:
"Yes, I do believe Jimmy's going to be our quarterback next year. ... Jimmy's (contract), he is one of the QB middle of the league in terms of salary. that's how much they cost so it's not something ridiculous."
— Cam Inman (@CamInman) December 28, 2020
">via 49ers reporter Cam Inman. "You can't say anything with certainty... Jimmy's (contract), he is one of the QB middle of the league in terms of salary. That's how much they cost so it's not something ridiculous."
The 49ers head coach continued on and gave a lengthy answer on Garoppolo's future in San Francisco.
Overall, the comments definitely leave the door open for Shanahan and the 49ers to move on from Garoppolo. It's clear that San Francisco still has faith in him, but if a better option presents itself, the team will likely go in that direction.
Of course, a major issue will be unloading Garoppolo's contract, should the 49ers go that route. San Francisco would owe him over $26 million against the cap in 2021. As Shanahan reiterated, that's the price to pay for quarterbacks in today's NFL, but it would be a a lot to get rid of if the 49ers wanted a different player at the position.
Regardless of what San Francisco chooses to do, it's unlikely that the team's last game will have any bearing on the decision. The 49ers welcome the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday afternoon in the regular season finale.