With the 49ers' offseason underway, many have begun to speculate who will start at quarterback for San Francisco in 2023.
Although Trey Lance and Brock Purdy appear to be the most likely to get the nod under center, a third quarterback's name continues to be brought up.
In speaking with The Athletic's Mike Silver on the "Open Mike" podcast, 49ers legend and Hall of Famer Joe Montana suggested San Francisco re-sign and give the starting job to veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
“I start Jimmy,” Montana told Silver. “How many games has Jimmy won? For the longest time, questions were out with Jimmy for a while. But the one thing he has been able to do is win games for those guys.”... He’ll make a mistake here and there but some of those things I don’t just put on Jimmy.
"Yeah, he made a crazy throw and mistake in the playoff game a couple of years ago. But he has won a lot of games," Montana added. "I can’t say the same from Trey. You don’t know that from him. So, I think you start the guy who has won all the games for you. You’ve got to figure out the backup situation with Trey. Does Trey know the offense well enough? Is he meant for that offense?"
When asked during the end-of-season press conference on Wednesday if he sees any scenario in which the 49ers re-sign Garoppolo this offseason, coach Kyle Shanahan quickly put to rest any speculation of San Francisco reuniting with its longtime starter for a second consecutive season.
However, when it comes to Garoppolo and the 49ers, it's wise to never rule anything out.
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Although Montana doesn't mention Purdy by name in his answer, the 49ers' seventh-round quarterback likely will battle it out with Lance for the starting nod throughout training camp.
Unless, of course, one of the winningest quarterbacks in 49ers history were to somehow re-enter the picture ...