49ers news: Kyle Shanahan expects Jimmy Garoppolo to be back for 2021 NFL season

With a disastrous 2020 season coming to an end next week, San Francisco 49ers news has included the possibility that the team could move on from Super Bowl quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

We’ve heard rumors on a near never-ending loop suggesting that Jimmy Garoppolo’s days are numbered in the Bay Area. Despite leading San Francisco to a shocking Super Bowl appearance last season, the veteran quarterback has failed to live up to expectations.

Despite their less-than-stellar cap situation, 49ers rumors have also linked them to some big-name quarterbacks set to hit the trade market this coming offseason.

In addressing this with reporters on Monday, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan suggested that Jimmy Garoppolo will be back as their starting quarterback in 2021.

Related: 49ers offseason preview

49ers news: Kyle Shanahan expects Jimmy Garoppolo to be back for 2021 NFL season

“Yes, I do believe Jimmy is going to be our quarterback next year,” Shanahan told reporters during a Zoom conference call Monday afternoon.

However, there’s a bit of a caveat here.

“You can’t say anything with certainty,” Shanahan noted. “I mean, you don’t sit here and make promises on anything. When we build a football team, it’s your job to put the best team together year in and year out.”

This was in response to a question about Jimmy Garoppolo’s cap hit and what is expected to be a decreased salary cap during the 2021 NFL season due to the financial difficulties the league is dealing with in the age of COVID-19.

It’s not a surprise these questions were brought up. 49ers news has revolved around the possibility that they will move off Jimmy Garoppolo via trade or release this coming offseason, saving a whopping $24.4 million against the cap. Under this scenario, the 49ers would likely look to move up in the 2021 NFL Draft for either Zach Wilson (BYU) or Justin Fields (Ohio State).

For his part, Garoppolo is slated to count $26.21 million against the cap next season. That’s the 11th-highest figure among quarterbacks in the NFL.

Related: 49ers QB options for 2021

49ers news: Is Jimmy Garoppolo the best solution for 2021?

49ers news: Jimmy Garoppolo trade scenarios
Nov 1, 2020; Seattle, Washington, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) returns to the locker room following pregame warmups against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Limited to six starts this season due to multiple high-ankle sprains, Garoppolo has failed to turn into the elite-level signal caller the 49ers envisioned they were getting when they acquired him from the Patriots midway through the 2017 NFL season.

In those six starts, Garoppolo has posted a 3-3 record with seven touchdowns against five interceptions. This has come on the heels of the 29-year-old signal caller putting up one of the best statistical seasons for a quarterback in 49ers franchise history in 2019.

From a team-wide perspective, Garoppolo has posted a 22-8 record as the 49ers’ starter. Despite their upset win over the Cardinals with C.J. Beathard at the helm in Week 16, all other 49ers starters since the start of the 2017 season are a combined 7-26. Quarterback wins might be a questionable statistic, but that tells us something.

In terms of what the 49ers have in-house, neither Beathard or Nick Mullens represent long-term solutions under center. It’s led to 49ers news suggesting that their quarterback room could look completely different in 2021. Whether it’s PR spin or something else, Shanahan pushed back against that on Monday.

As for the 49ers’ hopes of contention moving forward, it must be noted that they have broken the single-season record for most games missed due to injuries. That includes reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Nick Bosa tearing his ACL back in Week 2. Fully healthy, San Francisco should be able to contend for a conference title in 2021. Obviously, that’s dependent on the team’s quarterback situation.

Related: Jimmy Garoppolo trade scenarios

49ers news: Other options at quarterback

49ers news: Is a Matt Ryan trade a possibility?
Dec 27, 2020; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) greets Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) after the game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
  • Matt Ryan: Falcons owner Arthur Blank noted earlier this season that the team’s yet-to-be-named new head coach and general manager tandem will decide Ryan’s future in Atlanta during the offseason. Ryan, 35, is in a similar situation as Stafford in that he likely won’t want to take part in a rebuild.
  • Carson Wentz: Benched in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts, this high-priced former No. 2 pick will not want to remain in Philadelphia if he doesn’t regain his starting job. It’s led to rumors suggesting that Wentz could be traded for pennies on the dollar. Any 49ers news relating to a potential Wentz trade will depend heavily on whether Shanahan and general manager John Lynch view him as an upgrade over Garoppolo.

These are just three examples of options for the 49ers should they decide to move off Jimmy Garoppolo this coming offseason. Apparently, that’s not a foregone conclusion.

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