Still confused as to why the 49ers kept Jimmy Garoppolo on a reworked deal? Don’t be — at least that was the message from head coach Kyle Shanahan on Tuesday.
Shanahan painted a picture of the 49ers’ biggest QB move this preseason as something of a no-brainer, even if he didn’t think it was possible that long ago. “This was (a case of) ‘Oh my god, Jimmy Garoppolo is available as a backup quarterback,'” said Shanahan. “‘And that makes sense to him and makes sense to us. What else should I be thinking about?'”
By bringing Garoppolo back with a lower salary, the 49ers were able to avoid taking a major financial blow for nothing. Now they have a quarterback back who has started 45 games for the club and led to a Super Bowl appearance and NFC title game over the past three years. That’s insurance that’s hard to buy in this league.
“We have a starting quarterback as a backup,” Shanahan said. “The rest of the league had a chance to get a hold of him and I feel so lucky they didn’t.
“That’s definitely not bad for our team.”
The starter, of course, is Trey Lance — and Shanahan emphasized that point again in case anyone was wondering. He added that Garoppolo is the team’s QB2 heading into the week 1 game with the Chicago Bears.
Prior to the final preseason game in San Francisco, the prognosis for Lance was overwhelmingly positive. But Lance and the first-team offense that mattered little to the Texans in the preseason finale — coupled with Garoppolo returning a few days later — raised questions about whether the 49ers were quietly concerned about their 22 year old starter.
Do not be afraid. Shanahan redoubled his belief that the 49ers will enjoy abundant riches at the position.
“There aren’t 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL,” Shanahan said, “and we think we have two.”
Some also speculated that there could be tension between Lance and Garoppolo in this arrangement. Another potential problem that Shanahan liked to shoot.
“When I told Trey that Jimmy is coming back, he said ‘Great,'” said Shanahan. “There was no relationship to mend.”
And the hand-wringing over Garoppolo not having a script while working through an off-season shoulder surgery? Shanahan took the opportunity to downplay the idea with a touch of humor.
“We’re not worried that he doesn’t have a script,” Shanahan said. “I don’t have one either.”
Shanahan was asked why they were trying to trade Garoppolo if he was such an asset. The coach then cast some shadow on the competition’s other 31 teams for their slowness.
“The rest of the league had a chance to catch him,” Shanahan said.
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