Why Simms believes Garoppolo could be 49ers' QB in 2021


Although questions have been raised throughout the season about Jimmy Garoppolo’s future as the 49ers’ starting quarterback, Kyle Shanahan has reiterated his belief in recent weeks that not only will the signal-caller return this season, but that he will be QB1 in San Francisco next season as well.

NBC Sports’ Chris Simms believes there is a scenario where Garoppolo returns as the 49ers’ QB in 2021, explaining that the 49ers could have other more pressing needs in the offseason.

“First off, hey again, we don’t know who’s going to be available, what moves will have to be made on the roster other than quarterback,” Simms told NBC Sports Bay Area. “Here’s the biggest thing. Yes, Kyle Shanahan has to say that, guy is still on his team and all that, but he believes that.

“I’m not just saying him, all coaches, you’re around enough NFL coaches, you know how they’re wired, they’re not into like let me think about next year mode yet, he’s still in like 'Hey screw you, I think we’re going to the NFC playoffs this year still,’ he’s not giving up on that fight.”

If Garoppolo does return this season from his ankle injury that landed him on injured reserve, Shanahan and general manager John Lynch will get another chance to evaluate Garoppolo before the offseason arrives.


Injuries have played a major role in Garoppolo’s struggles this season, and when he was fully healthy and played in all 16 games a season ago, the 49ers went 13-3 and advanced all the way to the Super Bowl.

RELATED: Why Shanahan views both Mullens, Beathard as 49ers' backup QB

Simms believes success could be a determining factor in choosing to stick with Garoppolo going forward.

“One thing that Jimmy G will have in his favor more than anything right now is,” Simms continued. “No matter what happens, when the season is over, Shanahan and Lynch are going to sit down and go ‘Well, we’re a lot better with Jimmy G than we are without him, we can’t win a game without him. When we have him, we win and we’re kind of fun to watch.'

“Yeah, it’s never going to be superstar-caliber like Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson-type with Jimmy Garoppolo, but you can still go to Super Bowls and still win with Jimmy Garoppolo and have an awesome offense.”

Playoff hopes are limited for the 49ers at this point, but in what has been the most bizarre NFL season in recent memory, you never know.

As far as Garoppolo goes, the 49ers have begun scouting quarterbacks available in next year’s draft, and with a strong, deep group of elite college QBs expected to enter the draft, San Francisco likely will bring in a young competitor for Jimmy G, but that doesn’t guarantee that Garoppolo will be replaced as the starter.

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