San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch held a press conference on Monday, just a few days ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft.
It goes without saying that the focus was on who the 49ers might be selecting No. 3 overall in the annual event after pulling off a blockbuster trade from the 12th selection. Right now, suggestions conclude that San Francisco will choose between Trey Lance and Mac Jones to be the heir-apparent to current starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
In discussing Garoppolo’s future with the 49ers, Shanahan was asked if he can guarantee that the Super Bowl quarterback will be on the roster come Sunday. The head coach seemingly broke some news in the process.
“I can’t guarantee that anyone in the world will be alive some day, so I can’t guarantee that anyone will be on our roster on Sunday,” Shanahan said when asked whether Garoppolo would be on the roster when the 2021 NFL Draft concludes this weekend.
That’s pretty much the first direct quote from Shanahan concluding that there’s a chance that the 49ers move off their injury-plagued starting quarterback.
A lot of this will depend on who the San Francisco 49ers select with the third pick. Jones is seen as more pro-ready than Lance. If the Alabama quarterback is the pick, Garoppolo could very well be traded. If it’s Lance, the idea would be for him to sit behind Garoppolo for a year.
Potential San Francisco 49ers trade scenarios with Jimmy Garoppolo
- New England Patriots: This has been bandied about for some time now. New England’s interested in reacquiring Tom Brady’s former backup as an upgrade over Cam Newton. A potential trade of this ilk would likely include the Patriots moving a second and third-round pick.
- Denver Broncos: The 49ers’ relationship with Denver’s brass could play a role here. John Lynch is friends with Broncos president John Elway. Denver is also looking for an upgrade over struggling young quarterback Drew Lock. Barring a trade up from the ninth pick, making a move for Garoppolo could make the most sense here. Perhaps, the Broncos send out their second-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers.
- Chicago Bears: To say that the Bears are desperate to land a quarterback would be an understatement. Firmly on the hot seat, head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace are set to rely on Andy Dalton to save their jobs. That’s a less-than-ideal scenario. Could San Francisco take advantage of this desperation and pry the 20th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft from Chicago for Garoppolo?
Either way we look at it, the next several days will be franchise-defining for Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers. If they firmly believe that an unnamed rookie quarterback can start out of the gate, moving off Garoppolo in a trade could make sense.
We’ve seen lesser quarterbacks net a nice return thus far this offseason. After trading two future first-round picks and a 2022 third-round selection to move up to three, the 49ers certainly need to recoup some draft capital once the annual event gets going in Cleveland on Thursday.