Let the parsing in the Bay Area begin. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has been getting questions about the status of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for 2021, and on Monday as the team begins to prepare for Week 17, he offered a new comment. He told the media he thinks Garoppolo will be the San Francisco 49ers quarterback in 2021, but left open the room for if the 49ers find somebody better.
Shanahan left himself *some* wiggle room as far the quarterback question. But his theme today was that the 49ers would need to have an awfully good alternative if Garoppolo, whom he called a proven winner, is not the '21 starter. https://t.co/rPBEEcCeYO— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) December 28, 2020
This isn’t really a surprising response. He acknowledged that the 49ers will consider upgrade opportunities at every position. There were rumblings about Tom Brady last offseason, but the 49ers decided to stick with Garoppolo and communicated with him throughout the process.
There has been chatter the 49ers might move on from Garoppolo to clear cap space, but he still provides some decent value. His cap number is $26.9 million in 2021 and $27 million in 2022. Considering how expensive quarterbacks are getting, that’s fairly reasonable.
The only way the 49ers likely make a move is if Shanahan thinks they can get a quality option in the 2021 NFL Draft. The 49ers are 6-9 and currently hold the No. 14 pick in the draft. They host Seattle in Week 17 and a loss could move them as high as the top ten. If they end up somewhere in that range, maybe they decide a non-Trevor Lawrence quarterback makes sense.
There’s a long way to go between now and Week 1 of the 2021 season. Plenty can change.