The San Francisco 49ers have settled on their quarterback of the future, agreeing to a five-year contract extension with Jimmy Garoppolo. The move secures the starting job, while the backup role appears settled with C.J. Beathard. The 49ers could eventually try and trade Beathard if value is out there, but his solid play and toughness in the pocket in six games as a rookie provides the 49ers with a capable backup in case anything were to happen to Garoppolo.
In a fitting coincidence, Beathard joined 95.7 The Game for an interview on Wednesday, 24 hours before Garoppolo’s extension. The interview opened with talk of his grandfather, Bobby Beathard getting voted into the Hall of fame. But from there, it went into what he learned and has left to learn from his rookie season, and of course the in-season acquisition of Jimmy Garoppolo.
Beathard is a competitor, so it is no surprise he had some initial disappointment that the 49ers went out and got Garoppolo. I like the fact that Beathard believes he is a starter in this league. I would not expect him to say anything less to the media, but even still, he seems like a sufficiently motivated player.
At the same time, he understands how things work, and I imagine being Bobby Beathard’s grandson makes it that much easier to understand the business of football. C.J. is under contract for three more seasons, and barring a trade or anything bad, he will be serving as the team’s backup during that time.
Ideally the 49ers are able to find a trade partner in the next couple years, and developing somebody else along with Beathard. I don’t know that we’ll see them draft a quarterback this year, but I would be surprised if they did not draft a a prospect to develop before they potentially part ways with Beathard.
Here’s Beathard’s comments, excluding his talk about Bobby Beathard and the Hall of fame.
What he learned about NFL this past season:
”I think, more than anything, I learned the ins and outs of the game. Being able to get those reps are invaluable. A rookie getting in there, getting five starts, six starts, going out there and getting those reps, I think those are invaluable. I’ll definitely take those, and learn from those, and get better from those reps. I think I’ve got a long career left. It’s only year one, and I’m excited, looking forward to the years to come and the future of this team.”
On his body taking the punishment and how he felt at the end of the year:
I can definitely say it was nice to get the rest, and be able to relax for a few weeks here. Just get my feet under me, get the soreness out, the nicks and bruises gone. I can definitely say it’s up there one of the sorest, I mean I’m sore after every season, but that’s how the game plays out. Some years it’s worse than others. Unfortunately, I took some hits, and I feel great now.
On how he and Garoppolo work together:
Me and Jimmy work good together during the season. And we kinda bounce ideas off each other, help each other out. I was in there for a couple weeks starting while he was here. He helped me and I did the same with him when he’s in there. He’s a good guy, and we have a good relationship, so that’s always good.
But as far as the offseason goes, I’m not sure that we’ll get together and we’ll work out together. Actually, George Kittle and Trent Taylor, they’re here in Nashville, they moved here for the offseason — that’s where I live right now. So we’ve been working out and throwing, and doing some stuff together, so that should be nice.
On learning the Kyle Shanahan offense and the idea of it taking a second year to start mastering it:
I definitely would agree with that. And obviously you don’t really know how long it takes to get it until you’re there. But I can definitely say I haven’t mastered the offense yet. I think, definitely, going into year two, I’ll be a lot more prepared, and know what’s coming, and have a lot better idea of the offense, a feel for it. Right now, my rookie year just got over, and I was going in there still having to process things — getting a play call, and having to process it as I’m going up to the line of scrimmage.
”I think as year two comes around and goes, it’s like English. You hear a play, and it just clicks like that. You don’t really think about anything. At that point is when you can start picking at guys, and hey, this is how I want this — really mastering the offense in that way.
On going through rookie season getting praise and then 49ers acquire Garoppolo:
It was definitely tough when I first heard the news about the whole thing, but that’s part of the game. Like I said before, I’m a young player, it’s my rookie year, I’ve got a long career left, and sort of what I see I can have a long career in the league. Any way I can learn and get better from what I’ve seen in there starting — and obviously now being Jimmy’s backup, is trying to learn from him and do the best I can, and get better.
I think I’ll be a better player from it. Obviously, you want to be the guy, and I think at some point, I’ll be the guy. In my eyes, I see myself as a starting quarterback in the NFL. Whenever that is, however that is, time will tell. But, right now I’m just going to do the best to help this team, and help Jimmy, and keep competing. I think we’ve got a bright future ahead of us as the 49ers go forward. I think we’ve got a lot of young talent, a lot of good players. I think we’ve got a great coaching staff, we’ve got a great GM, and I think the future is really bright for the 49ers right now.”