49ers rumors: There is a lot of talk about Jimmy Garoppolo and his future with the San Francisco 49ers, especially after his latest injury setback this season. With Garoppolo in danger of missing the rest of the year, what are San Francisco’s long-term plans at quarterback?
The 49ers turned down multiple offers this offseason, believing a good backup quarterback was too valuable to move for a late-round pick. Just a few months later, Mullens could be getting a shot to prove he is a starting-caliber quarterback.
While the 49ers will continue to evaluate him, it seems the organization is already favoring one quarterback to trust in 2021.
49ers rumors: Jimmy Garoppolo to return in 2021?
According to Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline, the 49ers still view Garoppolo as their quarterback of the future. However, they are already considering drafting a quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft.
It’s an understandable approach for the organization at this point. Garoppolo will count $26.9 million against the salary cap next season, which will drop due to the NFL losing over $1 billion in revenue.
However, the 49ers can wipe $24 million off their books by releasing Garoppolo this offseason. It would be a huge relief, allowing the team to re-sign free agents like Richard Sherman, Trent Williams and Kyle Juszczyk.
While the 49ers made it to the Super Bowl with Garoppolo, that was largely the result of a dominant running game and a suffocating defense. We know head coach Kyle Shanahan would love to have a quarterback who can take the ceiling off this offense, something Garoppolo hasn’t proven he can do.
Given the Dallas Cowboys will likely place the franchise tag on Dak Prescott next offseason, there’s no free-agent quarterback worth pursuing for San Francisco. A blockbuster trade could be an option, but that requires sacrificing draft picks.
Ultimately, the 49ers might stick with Garoppolo for another season. However, the team can spend an early pick in a strong 2021 NFL Draft class to find a signal-caller for Shanahan to develop. If Garoppolo can’t stay healthy or elevate his game in 2021, the 49ers will have someone ready to step in.