After making a deal with the Miami Dolphins, the Niners moved up the draft board and hold the No. 3 overall selection. General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan have made it public that they intend on taking a quarterback with the pick.
The question is, which prospect will they select? It’s expected that the Jacksonville Jaguars will take Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence No. 1, while Robert Saleh and the New York Jets have been linked to BYU’s Zach Wilson.
That leaves San Francisco with Justin Fields, Trey Lance and Mac Jones as their rookie options. But the 49ers still have a starting quarterback on the roster. Lynch and Shanahan said they plan to keep Jimmy Garoppolo around for at least next season, but they would be open to moving him for the right price.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler did a segment on Sports Center and discussed where the Niners are in terms of their openness to move Jimmy G (h/t Rob Goldberg of Bleacher Report).
“I’ve been asking around and multiple league execs have told me that the 49ers have not been overly eager to trade Jimmy Garoppolo in recent weeks,” Fowler said. ”They’ve been comfortable keeping him, but they do believe they would move him at the right price. Think a first or a high second-round pick.”
Several NFL Insiders have said San Francisco would move Garoppolo for a high draft pick, but it’s doubtful a team would be willing to part with a first-round selection for a quarterback that has missed 23 games over the past three seasons.
The 49ers have plenty of options at their disposal. They’re built to win now, so having a dependable starting quarterback is imperative if the Niners want to contend for a Super Bowl title in 2021.
Fowler said San Francisco is willing to see which QB prospect is the best fit and if whomever they select isn’t ready to be an NFL starter, Lynch and Shanahan will go with Garoppolo again next season.
“Now, it all depends where they fit here with the No. 3 overall pick,” Fowler said. ”If they go with a player they think can start right away, maybe it’s a Mac Jones or a Justin Fields, that could change things with Garoppolo. But if it’s a more developmental player like a Trey Lance, that could move them to keep Garoppolo for a year. Because I’m told they’ve been looking for upgrades.
“They’re comfortable keeping Garoppolo, but the injury history, missing 23 games the last few years, the $24 million salary all major issues here.”
It’s going to be an interesting few weeks leading up to the draft. If a team like the New England Patriots is willing to part with a second-round selection for Garoppolo, it’s hard to imagine Lynch and Shanahan wouldn’t pounce on the deal.
The downside of trading Garoppolo is that the incoming rookie will have a ton of pressure to deliver with a roster that features Nick Bosa, George Kittle, Trent Williams and Fred Warner.
No rookie QB has made it to the Super Bowl, so San Francisco will hope to make history with a young signal-caller if they go with a rookie in Week 1. Keeping Garoppolo gives the 49ers a veteran option who knows the system and has shown he can help lead the team on a deep postseason run.
Players like Raheem Mostert, George Kittle and D.J. Jones have recently spoken out in support of Garoppolo and how they want him to be the QB next season. But if a rookie like Fields, Jones or Lance outplays Garoppolo during training camp, Shanahan won’t hesitate to go with a youngster in Week 1.
If Garoppolo isn’t traded in the coming weeks or at the draft, it’s likely San Francisco won’t make any drastic moves at the position until training camp. Which means we wouldn’t get a resolution to the situation for at least a few more months.
Do you think it’s best to keep Garoppolo for at least one more season?