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Golden Nuggets: Raheem Mostert gives his vote of confidence for Jimmy Garoppolo

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Sunday, April 4, 2021

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Arizona Cardinals v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Mac Jones to the 49ers was the theme last week. This week? It’ll be Zach Wilson after Steve Young interviewed him.

Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers in a delicate dance: QB will exit within a year, but plot twists lie ahead

Jimmy G needs to play, and playing somewhere he is viewed as the long-term solution would be ideal, though it’s not imperative right now. Especially after teams that very well could use a new QB a year from now – like New Orleans, coached by mastermind Sean Payton, a fellow Eastern Illinois QB alum, or Chicago, Garoppolo’s hometown team – already have stopgap QBs for 2021 on one-year deals, but very well could be looking to upgrade come 2022. Among teams with recent success, the Steelers, Eagles and Washington (it’s a division title, even if it’s the NFC East) could also very well be in that market next year, along with the aforementioned Patriots and Texans.

Raheem Mostert believes Jimmy Garoppolo will be 49ers’ starting QB

Count 49ers running back Raheem Mostert as one who believes coach Kyle Shanahan and General Manager John Lynch still have Jimmy Garoppolo in their plans.

Mostert said that he thinks Garoppolo is still the starter heading into the season.

“I believe Jimmy Garoppolo will be our starting quarterback going into this season,” Mostert said on SiriusXM Fantasy Radio.

The 49ers didn’t trade up to the third overall pick for any reason other than they think there’s a quarterback available in this year’s draft who will be an improvement over Garoppolo. So if Garoppolo is the 49ers’ starter, he’s only a short-term placeholder before the 49ers’ franchise quarterback of the future takes over. But Mostert still believes that Garoppolo will have the job when the season starts.

Kawakami: Mac Jones to the 49ers over Justin Fields? Here’s why that NFL groupthink feels so wrong

I don’t think the intense focus on Jones is necessarily a calculated smokescreen out of 49ers HQ, though I think Shanahan and Lynch don’t mind it at all, otherwise they wouldn’t have been so quick to fly off to Alabama’s pro day this week.

But I think this is coming from people a layer or two outside of the 49ers brain trust, like Chris Simms, one of Shanahan’s best friends in football, and others who know the 49ers well. And it’s coming from NFL people who are making informed guesses. If the 49ers are willing to trade three first-round picks for this move, it has to be for a specific guy, right?

49ers free agency: Why Richard Sherman remains unsigned in 2021

It’s also possible Sherman wants to be picky with his choices. Nothing wrong with that. Staying on the West Coast could be a priority. And with it being so late in his career, Sherman might only want to sign with a legitimate Super Bowl contender instead of a rebuilding squad like the New York Jets or Jacksonville Jaguars. You’d have to ask him about that, though.

Perhaps the biggest element, however, has been the NFL free agency market on cornerbacks. It’s been cool, and not in the good sense of the word.

Why the 49ers Have to Show Interest in Mac Jones

First off, the 49ers would not be doing their job if they did not do their homework on Jones. The only quarterback that I’m sure they are not digging deep on is Trevor Lawrence since the Jaguars are going to draft him. That means Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, Jones and whoever else they are interested in is going to require study. It is just the nature of the business.

So in that sense, the 49ers are surely interested in Jones because they are reviewing him. Whether they are seriously considering him at No. 3 is a different story. I’m willing to bet that Shanahan and John Lynch are LOVING that the masses think Jones is a likely selection.

The 49ers never want the rest of the league to know what they can do. Despite what Shanahan mentioned about “covering his tracks” when it comes to scouting, he’s still being cautious to a degree because he has to.