But Jimmy Garoppolo is the 49ers' starting quarterback and all signs point to him returning under center for San Francisco in 2021. Head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have made it clear that they expect Garoppolo to be QB1 next season, and tight end George Kittle continues to go to bat for his friend and teammate amid the out-of-control speculation about the 49ers' future at quarterback.
All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner joined the chorus of 49ers singing Garoppolo's praises, and he expects big things from his quarterback in 2021.
"The guy's a winner," Warner told "Good Morning Football" when asked why Garoppolo is the right quarterback to lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl. "He's a natural-born leader. I think that he makes all the throws. It's crazy because you see him practice and in games, the type of throws that he makes, and he can play football.
"I think he's just continuing to get better each and every year. Obviously, he's got to be able to stay healthy, to be on the field, and give us a chance to win games and compete at a high level, but he has so much respect from all the players in that locker room just because, like I said, he is a natural-born leader, and we all look to him to rally the troops. I think he's going to come back and be better than ever."
Garoppolo started and finished just three games in 2020 as two separate high ankle sprains kept him on the sidelines for the majority of the season.
Despite Garoppolo's apparent limitations as a starting quarterback, there's no question the 49ers have been better with him on the field since he arrived in 2017. With Garoppolo under center, the 49ers are 24-9, including the playoffs, and are just 7-26 without him.
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The 49ers face a number of important decisions to make this offseason. They already made one when they promoted DeMeco Ryans to defensive coordinator after Robert Saleh left to become head coach of the New York Jets. But the 49ers still have to address their secondary, re-sign Trent Williams, bolster the interior of their offensive line and then, perhaps, look to upgrade the quarterback position.
Conventional wisdom says that Garoppolo will be the guy next fall, and the 49ers don't appear to want it any other way.