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Shanahan explains the key reasons why the 49ers chose to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo

Shanahan went in-depth with his reasoning

Los Angeles Rams vs San Francisco 49ers, 2022 NFC Championship Set Number: X163918 TK1

Last week former NFL stars Brandon Marshall and Pacman Jones of “I Am Athlete” were at the practice. Jones was fielding punts while Marshall interacted with the coaches. Their most notable moment came when Marshall, who played for Mike Shanahan, asked Kyle Shanahan what his go-to play was:

I appreciate Kyle asking about the coverage. The play is relatively simple. The backside receiver runs a slant “until he can’t.” If the defender doesn’t allow the wideout to cross his face, he can break back to the outside. That’s where the two-way go comes into play. Check out the “Y” position to the right side below:

You not only give your receiver a two-way go, but he has the whole field to work with.

Moving on from Jimmy

Shanahan joined Marshall and Jones on a recent podcast discussing coming close to winning a Super Bowl and how he feels for Jimmy Garoppolo. Shanahan brought up a good point about how success from the previous season doesn’t have anything to do with the following year.

He also talked about how it always seems to come down to the last game, citing how the 49ers started 8-0 in 2019, but still had to beat Seattle for the division. Then, last year, the team was 3-5 but stormed back in the second half to beat the Rams and make the playoffs.

Shanahan had what might be an unpopular statement. He believes Garoppolo was the best 49er quarterback since Steve Young. However, the salary cap sounds like the driving force to move on from Garoppolo:

“I’ve seen how hard it is to get there. And how hard it is to try and continue to get there. There’s so many decisions that go into it. Jimmy has played here, in my personal opinion, better than any quarterback since Steve Young. Jimmy did some unbelievable things here. Look at his record, and look how close we got.

So the decision on that isn’t anything against Jimmy. But you gotta make tough decisions in this business. The more you learn about salary cap. The more you learn about how to keep ahold of your players. I thought Jimmy played great during that Super Bowl year. But I also know how good of a team we had.

They were young, and it gets harder and harder to keep these guys. Going forward, we realized how hard it would be to keep Deebo, and sign guys like Fred [Warner], like [George] Kittle. We know we’re going to end up paying [Nick] Bosa a lot of money.

So you look at all that stuff, and getting a guy on a rookie quarterback was a big part of that. And I love that we’re giving a good team to Trey, so he doesn’t have to do that on his own. Just like I didn’t believe Jimmy had to. You try to build a team to where it’s not just about the quarterback.

You always want to build that team to have a chance. If you can get the right guy under center with the right team, they don’t have to be one of the best of all time. But you definitely want them to have the ability to try and get there.”

Financial flexibility is critical for success in any walk of life, especially football with the salary cap. Once Garoppolo’s contract is off the books, the 49ers will shoot into the top five for cap space in the NFL.

A quarterback on a rookie contract helps maintain your stars but also allows you to take a couple of swings in free agency. I’m fascinated to see if the Niners, a team that’s been aggressive during the Shanahan/John Lynch era, and how they operate during free agency with Lance’s contract.

They don’t have to wait until free agency to make a move. With ample cap space, they could get active during the trade deadline if there’s a player who might walk in free agency that’s available on the cheap in the midst of a playoff run.