Santa Clara, California. –
When we lost Jimmy [Garoppolo] – The two seasons we had – the season was not very pleasing. Shanahan said. “It’s true, final year we lost a lot of other people with him. But we have a pleasing team and I don’t want to put all those eggs in one basket again.”
That’s why the 49ers made one costly off-season decision, trading a raft of draft picks for the right to pick Garoppolo’s supposed successor, Trey Lance. Which is also why 49 players made another, less conventional decision – stick to Garoppolo and roll the dice in 2021 with both players in the alike quarterback room. Not because there weren’t opportunities to pick up the phone and make trade calls on Garoppolo this off season, but because Shanahan knows the 49ers are sitting in a position to not lose by keeping an extra starter on the roster.
For now, just research franchises like the Dallas Cowboys and Indianapolis Colts to understand why.
Jimmy Garoppolo gives Tre Lance a chance to breathe
If the first week of boot camp has reminded us of anything, it’s that despite the influx of a slew of quarterback talent into the league, it only takes the injury of a couple of seasoned veterans at the center to lift a hair on the necks of every franchise in the league. The Cowboys and Colts are officially there, with Dallas’ Dallas squad already out with what the team hopes will be a mild shoulder strain, and first Carson Wentz is staring at potential foot surgery in the coming days.
While the severity of the injury looks very distinct, Prescott and Wentz showed how quickly a vital part of pre-season was derailed. And make no mistake, this next month is as significant an incubation period as ever for NFL coaches, many of whom are still troubled by reduced training and contact time in the off-season. Not only do many coaches feel lost training time in camp is more damaging than ever, they will tell you that losing those quarterbacks beforetime threatens to dump the team for weeks or more.
Shanahan said that’s part of why he’s happy to have Garoppolo on the list now. Partly because it takes the pressure off Lance – chosen by the 49ers who picked third place in the draft – and partly because Lance’s presence could produce the best Jimmy Garoppolo San Francisco has seen so far.
“It would be distinguished if Jimmy was the initiator, because I’d like to not put that pressure on Trey right away,” Shanahan said. “To be as pleasing as you are, you have to go through a lot of things. Jimmy has already gone through a few things. He has a chance, especially with the way he’s handled this, to play at his best. Trey, he’s coming and he can do a lot of things and I know he’s going to get better. Just. But not putting that pressure on him right away is distinguished. And if we need to put more pressure on him, we’ll do it.”
A smiling Shanahan made sure to dedicate another point to Garoppolo: “Out of season, I’ve boosted Jimmy’s game a bit. I think this can aid us a lot. I’d love to be in that position.”
The interesting part of this scenario – other than the fact that the 49ers will essentially have two quarterbacks pushing in order to start the mission as lengthy as they are both on the roster – is that it’s easier to see the upside to keeping Garoppolo.
First, he doesn’t turn 30 until November, which means if he has a solid 2021 season, he could take the Garoppolo 49 to the commercial market with the legitimate claim that he’s a quality starter with a big window left at the height of his fame. Second, Garoppolo’s no-trade clause forfeits his contract following this season. Third, any deal is still very friendly for the salary of the 49-year-olds. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, given this week, Garoppolo provides a measure of insurance Shanahan never offered as head coach.
Basically, Jimmy Garoppolo is now insurance…to forbid the considerate of void Jimmy Garoppolo has left on the team in the former.
Jimmy Garoppolo gives 49ers powerful trading options
It’s strange to consider Garoppolo an insurance policy against the injury problems he’s created in the post in the former, but that’s what it is. Together, he and Lance ensure that Shanahan will have a quarterback in the start Wants Under the center, not who is forced to place it under the center. If you don’t think that’s an significant distinction, consider what Dallas might look like if Prescott’s mild shoulder problem turned out to be something bigger. Or if the ponies stared at a lengthy time without Wentz. These are two potential playoff teams who are already wary of the quarterback about what any considerate of lengthy-term problem could unkind.
For once, the 49ers didn’t worry about it. They also have an added upside if Garoppolo plays well during pre-season, as he is as tradable now as he has been all summer. This means that there is forever the possibility of a desperate chapter in pre-season injuries that opens a door of opportunity. It’s like when the Minnesota Vikings lost first player Teddy Bridgewater in 2016, prompting the team to overturn the first- and fourth-round draft to the Philadelphia Eagles for Sam Bradford (who was about to lose his job to then-rookie Carson Wentz). As part of the deal, the Eagles paid $11 million of Bradford’s $18 million salary, which helped cement the deal’s wheel.
Guess which team is in this position now? It’s the 49ers with Garoppolo. Not only is he a valuable player to hang from which any playoff-caliber team could incur a quarterback loss, but San Francisco could also offer to pay a significant part of Garoppolo’s 2021 salary to aid slick the deal. This is a tempting option. And it will only look better if Garoppolo continues to have a solid boot camp.
Effectively, what it means is that the 49ers are in a pleasing position to trade now or later. Meanwhile, Shanahan can go to bed at night knowing his eggs are spread across two players in the center. One way or another, he will be happy with his novice. Until Garoppolo is eventually left off the list, Shanahan will gladly take on the extra insurance that many other NFL teams don’t have.
As Shanahan said: “The best conceivable situation for us is that we’ve got a really pleasing midfielder this year – whatever.”