The 49ers didn’t surrender three first-round draft choices to select Trey Lance and sit him for long. Until recent days, it was expected the 49ers would deal incumbent Jimmy Garoppolo and hand Lance the job.
But the 49ers are keeping Garoppolo for now, and Kyle Shanahan declared Friday night that Garoppolo remains the starter for now.
“That was our preference to draft a quarterback and keep Jimmy, provided somebody didn’t come and blow us away [with a trade offer],” General Manager John Lynch said Saturday, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News. “[The York ownership] gave us that commitment. We’re happy to have that situation because it’s a very strong one.”
The 49ers are comfortable carrying Garoppolo’s $24.1 million base salary as well as Lance’s as a top-five choice, Shanahan said.
“Jed and his family are OK with that, and I know it fits in the cap, so that’s why I feel it’s a pretty good situation for us,” Shanahan said.
Possible landing spots for Garoppolo have dried up with the Bears taking Justin Fields, the Patriots taking Mac Jones and the Texans taking Davis Mills. But the 49ers can squat on Garoppolo’s rights, holding out hope Garoppolo — who has an injury history — doesn’t get hurt before some team finds itself in need of a proven starter because of injury.
It worked out for the Eagles in 2016 when the Vikings lost Teddy Bridgewater on Aug. 30. Minnesota gave up a 2017 first-round draft choice and a conditional 2018 fourth-rounder for Sam Bradford four days later.