The San Francisco 49ers remain at the center of the NFL’s rumor mill after acting to claim No. 3 in the 2021 NFL Draft from the Miami Dolphins.
Conversations not only focus on which quarterback the Niners will vote for in third place, but there are still plenty of rumors going on about what the team will do with reigning starter Jimmy Garoppolo.
During their recent media availability, general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan said they plan to keep Garoppolo for the next season. Even so, Shanahan did not close the door completely when he moved Jimmy G.
“If someone wanted something and your team can improve it in many other ways, listen to this, but it also depends on how good you feel with this rookie,” admitted Shanahan. “We’re not there at the moment and the chances are good, we probably won’t be. That’s why we’re happy that we don’t have to be like that. We have a man here that we know we can win with, a man that our players love, that we love, and we’re excited to have him this year, and we’re excited to be a damn good quarterback Having right behind it he learns when the time is his. “
Sports Illustrated’s Alber Breer was asked what kind of compensation the 49ers were seeking for a potential Garoppolo deal in his final mailbag, and had this to say.
I was told that at this point the Niners would need a first choice to listen to, which of course would be nice for San Francisco if it had its first in 2022 and ’23, jumping from # 1 to # 12 3. That can of course change. Perhaps a veteran stopgap could come that they see as comparable to Garoppolo, and then they would be motivated to move him (I’m not sure who that would be). Maybe the rookie will come and blow everyone’s mind in the summer and the Niners want to play him.
Breer later points out that San Francisco is in no rush to move Garoppolo, especially with a squad good enough to fight for a Super Bowl. The Niners have re-signed several key freelance agents, some for one-year contracts, suggesting the Front Office believes they can win now.
Trading in Garoppolo before or during the draft puts immense pressure on the incoming rookie to produce immediately. By keeping Garoppolo, the rookie QB will have time to learn Shanahan’s system and develop his skills in preparation for the starting role in 2022.
But when a team offers a first-round pick for Jimmy G, Shanahan and Lynch have a hard time saying no. You could get back one of the first graders they sent to the Dolphins and add another significant piece that can add both in the short and long term.
There are just so many opportunities that can arise between now and September. If the rookie QB walks in and lights it up at training camp, the 49ers would be a lot more open to trading with Garoppolo.
If Garoppolo overtakes the rookie ahead of the season and leads the team to a deep playoff run or a Super Bowl title, San Francisco will be able to maximize the return on every trade for the next off-season.
Would you swap Garoppolo for a first or second round selection before or at the draft, given that the roster is built that way and the 49ers are confident they can win a championship next season?