49ers general manager John Lynch made his strongest offseason commitment to Jimmy Garoppolo, less than two weeks ago, claiming that he has "no doubt" that the 29-year-old quarterback will be back in San Fransisco in 2021.
But what if the 49ers could land another option sometime this spring?
The Athletic's Michael Lombardi expects the team's front office to do just that and pursue a handful of the available quarterbacks over the next few weeks. According to the former NFL general manager, Sam Darnold and Deshaun Watson appear to be favorites of the franchise.
Many believe a change of scenery would be beneficial for the 23-year-old New York Jets quarterbacks. For Lombardi, Darnold falls right into the price range for both trade parties involved: the Jets get the 43rd pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and the 49ers get a quarterback with upside on his rookie deal.
"Why? Because Darnold fits the profile that Shanahan loves at the position: athletic, can throw moving to his left or right, and has the arm strength to make the defense defend every blade of grass on the field," Lombardi wrote. "The 49ers could acquire him with a second-round pick and then trade Jimmy G."
However, Lombardi implied that the 49ers would be more interested in Watson. That being said, the Texans continue to deny that the three-time Pro Bowler is available. The situation in Houston looks to be reaching a breaking point, but could drag on for months to come.
According to Lombardi, the 49ers would be hesitant to make a move for Darnold if Watson becomes available later on. As a result, San Fransisco finds itself in a bind.
"Would San Francisco want Watson? Yes," Lombardi said. "Would they want Watson over Darnold? Once again, yes. Would they regret trading for Darnold if two days later they hear Houston is accepting offers for Watson? Another huge yes."
Although Lombardi's comments are encouraging for 49ers' fans to hear, Lynch and the front office seems content to stick with Garopolo in 2021. Time will tell if the organization decides to change course and shake things up headed into a new year.