With reports -- accurate reports, as was later confirmed -- swirling of a chasm forming between quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, the 49ers figured they might as well make a phone call.
So that’s exactly what 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan did before the 2021 NFL Draft.
He took a swing for the fence, and figured it would end up with the ball hitting the catcher’s mitt.
Shanahan called his long-time friend and co-worker Matt LaFleur, the Packers head coach, to see if Rodgers were available.
As expected, the Packers were not interested in parting ways with the three-time NFL MVP.
"I thought it would be a quick, 'No,’” Shanahan said on Wednesday. "And it wound up exactly what I thought it would be. But you hear enough stuff. Everyone knew what was going on at that time.
“It didn't seem like it was worth the call, but I know how we would have felt if it was going to happen and we didn't call. So you call them, and you get a quick answer, which is what you're expecting, and you move on."
Shanahan said he and general manager John Lynch never even really spoke about the level of compensation it might take to acquire Rodgers because it was seen as such a remote possibility.
Perhaps in an alternate reality, Rodgers would be wearing a 49ers uniform on Sunday night when the Packers visit Levi’s Stadium.
The 49ers were up-front with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on March 26 when they traded up to No. 3 overall to select the team’s quarterback of the future. But no heads-up was given to him about Shanahan’s brief conversation with LaFleur.
"I probably heard it through Twitter or something like that," Garoppolo said. "I honestly didn't get any inkling of it or anything like that. That's just how the offseason goes. Teams are always trying to look for something new, something better. That's just kind of the nature of the beast, I guess."