Kyle Shanahan has no qualms about Jimmy Garoppolo’s readiness
The 49ers, as we’ve said, couldn’t have planned it any better -- if they even planned it. With no starting quarterbacks injured elsewhere and no one willing to trade for Jimmy Garoppolo, the former starter assessed his options and realized his best play was to drop his base salary from $25.62 million to $6.5 million and stay put, as the No. 2 quarterback on the 49ers’ depth chart.
When coach Kyle Shanahan spoke to reporters about the situation on Tuesday, he was asked about Garoppolo’s readiness to play on a moment’s notice. Especially since he didn’t even have a playbook.
“We have zero worries about him not having a playbook,” Shanahan said. “I don’t have one either. We have zero worries about that. Putting him through a workout, that’s what he goes through every single day. He goes through that. He’s been out here. He’s been throwing with players at times, our rehab players, he’s been doing everything.”
Shanahan compared Garoppolo’s preparation to the fact that plenty of quarterbacks are signed with far less familiarity.
“There are quarterbacks I’ve seen signed off the couch,” Shanahan said. “Go look at Josh McCown, guys have been signed off the couch in Week 10 and come in and play for people, so that’s not at all our case at all. Jimmy’s been here, he’s been rehabbing, he’s in great shape. He’s ready to go. Of course, you would love for your backup quarterback to get reps in training camp, but that was not an option at the time at all. This wasn’t an option until I think Jimmy saw all the other situations and once that final preseason game ended. I’m glad that what he thought was the best option for him was a great option for us.”
It wasn’t an option because the 49ers didn’t want to risk the kind of injury to Garoppolo that would have put them on the hook for his full base salary for 2022. It’s why some believe he should have forced the issue early in camp, insisting on the team embracing him as a full-fledged member of the franchise or cutting him. If Garoppolo would have done that, he could have signed with another team at a time when he had a chance to compete for the starting job.
It’s unclear why he didn’t force the issue. Maybe he was willing to roll the dice on the possibility of a serious injury to another starter on another team, which would have increased his value. Maybe he’s too nice. Or maybe he realized that no one really wanted him, even if he became available early in camp.
Whatever the reason, the 49ers kept him on ice for weeks. They’re now thawing him out and getting him ready to be the game-day No. 2 to Trey Lance.