The 49ers stand by their long-held belief that Jimmy Garoppolo will be the team’s starting quarterback in 2021.
General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan reiterated that stance even after the 49ers worked a trade to acquire the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft.
The 49ers will select a quarterback who will eventually take over for Garoppolo.
Garoppolo is not on the trading block. But ... if another team came calling with an offer too good to refuse, the 49ers would certainly listen.
"Yeah, that's accurate with every player on our team -- I mean, probably including myself,” Shanahan said on Monday.
Shanahan said the best situation for the 2021 season is to keep Garoppolo as the starter while the newcomer learns the offense and the NFL game.
“We’re in a situation where when you bring in a rookie quarterback, to me, it's always better, especially on the team that you have, if you've got a veteran starter there already who you like and you're comfortable winning with,” Shanahan said.
“That's usually the direction you want to go and not throw someone else out into the fire until they're fully ready. That's the situation we're at.”
Garoppolo has started more than six games in a season just once in his career. The 49ers went to the Super Bowl when Garoppolo started all 16 games, plus three more in the postseason.
The 49ers like Garoppolo, but clearly his ability to remain healthy is a concern.
“It's going to be hard to find a quarterback that gives us a better chance to win than Jimmy right now, especially even a rookie in the draft,” Shanahan said. “So that's what you look into. Now, if someone wanted something for that and it can make your team better in a lot of other ways, you listen to that, but also depends on how good you feel about that rookie.”
With an uncertain NFL offseason ahead, it remains to be seen how much on-field work a rookie quarterback will get in order to prepare for the season.
The 49ers do not feel an urgency to rush a rookie quarterback onto the field, Shanahan said.
“We're not there yet right now and odds are, we probably won't be,” Shanahan said. “That's why we're happy that we don't have to be that way.
“We've got a guy in here who we know we can win with, a guy that our players love, that we love and we're excited to have him this year and we're excited to have a hell of a quarterback right behind him learning for when the time is his."
Shanahan and Lynch speak regularly -- to the point that Shanahan’s wife has pointed out to her husband that it sounds as if the coach and general manager have the same conversation eight times a day. So it’s no surprise that Lynch did not have a whole lot more to offer after Shanahan’s thorough answer.
Said Lynch, “ Agreed."