Monday, February 6, 2023

Kyle Shanahan on keeping Jimmy Garoppolo: 49ers happy to have ‘a starting QB as a backup’

At one point in the offseason, pretty much everyone thought Jimmy Garoppolo would be with a team not named the 49ers, including head coach Kyle Shanahan. The veteran quarterback remained with San Francisco, however, and is now the Niners backup. The situation had many unknowns, but the two parties agreed to a restructured one-year deal.

The deal includes no-trade and no-tag clauses. He’ll be a free agent next season, but for now, Jimmy G will back up Trey Lance, who is entering his first year as a starter.

Shanahan described the situation of having Garoppolo as his backup, saying there is no scenario in which having him there is a bad thing.

“We have a starting quarterback as a backup,” Shanahan said. “The rest of the league had a chance to get him, and I feel so fortunate that they didn’t. There’s no way that’s bad for our team.”

Shanahan gave some insight to the team’s thought process into making Garoppolo the backup, saying it was a no-brainer.

“This was (a case of), ‘Oh my God, Jimmy Garoppolo’s available as a backup quarterback. And that makes sense for him and makes sense for us. What else is there to think about?'” Shanahan said.

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Lance is clearly the No. 1 guy, but if things start falling off with 2021 No. 3 overall pick, they have someone with lots of experience who can take over. There is no quarterback competition right now, with Shanahan reiterating that it is Lance’s offense.

Shanahan did emphasize his belief in both, saying, “There aren’t 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL and we believe we have two of them.”

Shanahan was not too vocal about why they tried to trade Garoppolo in the first place.

This type of situation with a veteran former starter and a newcomer can create competition and often rivalry within the team, but Shanahan maintains that is not the case. The head coach said the two quarterbacks have a fine relationship and Lance is happy to keep Garoppolo on board.

“When I told Trey that Jimmy’s coming back, he said ‘Awesome.’ There was no relationship to mend,” Shanahan said.

Garoppolo is a two-time Super Bowl champion as a backup with the New England Patriots and helped lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2019. He has been with the Niners since 2017. 

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