The 2021 NFL Draft still is over three weeks away, but the 49ers now are the biggest wild card this year after trading up to the No. 3 overall pick.
General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan haven't shied away from the fact that the 49ers are eyeing a young quarterback with their top pick. Who's at the top of their wish list remains a mystery, but we know the 49ers will be taking a QB. That brings us to Jimmy Garoppolo.
The most likely scenario remains the 49ers keep Garoppolo for the 2021 season while grooming a young signal-caller for the future. ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Sunday on "SportsCenter" that remains to be what he's hearing, too.
"I've been asking around and multiple league execs have told me that the 49ers have not been overly eager to trade Jimmy Garoppolo in recent weeks," Fowler said (H/T Bleacher Report's Rob Goldberg). "They've been comfortable keeping him, but they do believe they would move him at the right price -- think a first or a high second-round pick."
The 49ers' eagerness to trade Garoppolo or not could depend on a few factors. What they could receive in return of course is at the top of that list. As is who they are targeting with their first pick and if they could acquire another veteran.
If Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson are the first two picks in the draft, the 49ers will be deciding between Justin Fields, Mac Jones or Trey Lance. Evaluators see Fields and Jones as more pro-ready while Lance is more of a project.
"Now, it all depends where they fit here with the No. 3 overall pick," Fowler said. "If they go with a player they think can start right away, maybe it's a Mac Jones or a Justin Fields, that could change things with Garoppolo. But if it's a more developmental player like a Trey Lance, that could move them to keep Garoppolo for a year. Because I'm told they've been looking for upgrades.
"They're comfortable keeping Garoppolo, but the injury history, missing 23 games the last few years, the $24 million salary all major issues here."
Whether it's with the 49ers or not, this could be a make-or-break season for Garoppolo. He has shown he can help lead a team to the Super Bowl, but now must prove he can stay on the field and be the QB who brings his team another ring.