"I can't guarantee that anybody in the world will be alive Sunday, so I can't guarantee who will be on our roster come Sunday," Shanahan told reporters when asked if Garoppolo would for sure be a 49er after the draft concludes. "So that goes for all of us."
While the quote flew around the Twittersphere and was a popular topic on the morning shows, Garoppolo didn't make much of it.
"No," Garoppolo told CBS Sports Radio's Damon Amendolara on Tuesday when asked if he was bothered by Shanahan's comment. "I know Kyle pretty well, and I knew what he was trying to say when he said that. I don't know if he worded it the right way, but I definitely knew what he was trying to say. It definitely made for a good headline, though."
After the 49ers selected Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick on Thursday, Shanahan admitted he regretted the quip.
“I totally bombed that on Monday,” Shanahan told reporters. “I hated how that came off. I talked to Jimmy about it right away. I didn’t realize when I did it.”
Garoppolo has been a good starting quarterback when available, but has missed 23 games over the past three seasons, leading the 49ers to pursue a trade up to draft Lance to be their franchise quarterback.
In his lone full season as the 49ers starter, Garoppolo was excellent, throwing for 3,978 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions while leading San Francisco to a 13-3 record and a berth in Super Bowl LIV.
While Lance is the 49ers' future, Shanahan was adamant that Garoppolo very much is part of their plans in 2021.
"Jimmy is a quarterback who has played one year and took us to a Super Bowl," Shanahan said Thursday of Garoppolo's fit with the 2021 49ers. "And played at a very high level. He's had some unfortunate injuries, but I believe in Jimmy as a person and he's shown what he can do on tape. Now, we made this move, so it's obvious what I hope and what I believe with this guy coming in. But it would be a very tough situation if Jimmy isn't on our team. I want Jimmy to be here and I want this kid to be brought along, I want to see how he does and if it turns into a competition, it turns into a competition. I'd be excited about that if he showed he was ready and stuff, but we know where Jimmy is at."'
Lance, 20, has only played in 17 games at the college level and only played in one game this past fall as North Dakota State and the FCS opted to move their season to the spring. Lance has all the tools to be a star quarterback, but it's obvious he will need time to sit and develop before taking over for Garoppolo.
Shanahan surely will devise ways to use Lance during his rookie season, but all signs point to Garoppolo being the starter in 2021 and giving the 49ers their best shot to return to the Super Bowl.
That is, as long as he's alive, of course (kidding).