Kyle Shanahan’s comments about Jimmy Garoppolo mean little for 2021

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On Tuesday, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said that he expects quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to be the team’s starter in 2020. Although Shanahan’s words merit notice and discussion, here’s the reality: They ultimately mean nothing.

Rarely if ever will it make strategic sense to disclose intentions regarding a player’s future after a given season ends while that season is still happening. The book still has remaining chapters; even at 4-6, the 49ers could turn things around, Garoppolo could come back from his ankle injury, he could lead them into the postseason, and they could finish what they started in 2019.

That’s highly unlikely, but it’s not impossible. And if it would happen, Garoppolo surely would be back in 2021 as the team’s starting quarterback.

The more likely outcome entails the 49ers failing to make the playoffs and then exploring their options at multiple positions in 2021. Shanahan has hitched his wagon to Garoppolo, who has suffered too many injuries to be a true franchise quarterback. It may be time for Shanahan to unhitch said wagon, given that Garoppolo’s inability to play is putting too many losses on Shanahan’s permanent record.

Still, there’s no reason for Shanahan to tip his hand now. The full list of potentially available veteran quarterbacks for 2021 has yet to materialize. The 49ers don’t yet know, and won’t know, where they will be picking in the draft.

Then there’s the process of disengaging with Garoppolo, if it comes to that. Ideally, the 49ers would want to trade him. If it becomes generally accepted that they’ll be moving on from him, Garoppolo’s trade value drops.

So Shanahan is saying for now exactly what he has to say. And the only thing to say about it is that nothing he says now will matter when the offseason arrives.

10 responses to “Kyle Shanahan’s comments about Jimmy Garoppolo mean little for 2021

  1. “ Ideally, the 49ers would want to trade him. If it becomes generally accepted that they’ll be moving on from him, Garoppolo’s trade value drops.”

    …thus why Kyle publicly committed to Jimmy.

  2. I’m trying to think of another QB that started out getting hurt all the time but then ended up a success. I can’t think of any. Jimmy G just may be too skinny to last in the NFL.

    He’d be one heck of a backup, though. The only problem is he’d always want the starting job.

  3. For as much time as he misses injured he’d need to be completely lights out GREAT when he was playing and he simply has never been at that level. Keeping him means that realistically they’d always need a backup who was starter-quality and anybody that good would instantly create a QB controversy since Jimmy frequently looks very average even when healthy.

  4. Shanahan and Lynch are resigned long-term. Garappolo will be the starter next year. He is their best chance at winning. They’ll draft a QB to groom under Jimmy. Hopefully Zach Wilson if they keep losing.

    This “what will happen with Jimmy G” is a non-story.

  5. Brees was moved beyond by the Chargers for injuries, as I recall. The Saints ended up with the future Hall of Fame player because they did. So, it’s not what JG has the potential to be, it’s will he remain healthy going forward?

    He ends up back with Patriots & salvages his career, is my guess.

  6. I bet BB would love to have him back. Cam ain’t cutting it and Stidham and Hoyer will remain backups at best.

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