Kyle Shanahan Says 49ers Drafting a QB But Will Also Be Keeping Jimmy G.

Jimmy Garoppolo With 49ers Background

  • Kyle Shanahan confirms that the 49ers will be drafting a quarterback with the third pick of the upcoming NFL draft.
  • Shanahan also said that the team will be keeping starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
  • The 49ers have the 5th best odds to win Super Bowl LVI at +1400.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch held a news conference on Monday via Zoom to answer questions on the team’s recent moves.

In their first media appearance since January 4th, Shanahan and Lynch explained why they made the bold move to trade up in the upcoming draft while also confirming their plan to keep Garoppolo.

Per Shanahan:

“We’re in a situation where when you bring in a rookie quarterback, to me it’s always better, especially on the team that you have, if you’ve got a veteran starter there already who you like and you’re comfortable winning with, that’s usually the direction you want to go. And not throw someone else out into the fire until they’re fully ready, and that’s the situation we’re at. … I think Jimmy, it’s going to be hard to find a quarterback who gives us a better chance to win than Jimmy right now, especially even a rookie in the draft. …”

So unless a team makes an offer for Garoppolo that the 49ers change their mind, San Francisco is rolling with Jimmy G. this season.

Winning with Jimmy G.

The 49ers have the second best odds to win the NFC West at +210 behind the Los Angeles Rams who are currently listed at +190 at the BetOnline App. San Francisco is also tied for the 5th best odds to win Super Bowl LVI at +1400. But their success depends largely on Jimmy Garoppolo.

San Francisco has been successful when Jimmy G. is healthy. But the 49ers have won just 10 times in the 23 games he’s missed over the last three seasons. Garoppolo played only three games in 2018, six last season and in a league where availability is the best ability, it’s easy to understand why the 49ers pulled off last week’s big trade.

Yet San Francisco also doesn’t want to gamble on his availability because they believe that they can go all the way with him at the helm. The 49ers are 24-9 overall, including the playoffs with Jimmy G as starter. They were one win away from winning it all in 2019, losing to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs at Super Bowl LIV. Garoppolo has the 4th highest winning percentage among active QBs with a minimum of 16 starts, trailing only Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, and Lamar Jackson.

49ers Trade Up

After going 6-10 last season, Shanahan said he and Lynch met their respective staff to start exploring possible options at the quarterback position. While they agreed in the team’s ability to win with Garoppolo as starter, they also felt that they could no longer continue to lose seasons because Jimmy G. couldn’t stay on the field.

Among the QB options they considered were Matthew Stafford and DeShaun Watson. But with Stafford getting traded to the L.A. Rams and Watson’s availability still uncertain, they though about the idea of trading up in the draft to take one of the top rookie QBs in the draft. Shanahan says they there are at least five QBs who could be the franchise’s future face but if they did not make a move, they “would be left at the altar” at no. 12.

Just before the trade became official, Shanahan said he and Lynch talked to the team ownership and informed them of their decision to move up to no. 3 and draft a QB while at the same time keeping Garoppolo and his $26.4M salary for 2021. In the hours before the deal, Shanahan also spoke to Jimmy G. to explain what they were going to do. According to Shanahan, Garoppolo wasn’t too thrilled but “seemed to understand the plan”.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.