49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had a disappointing season and to make matters worse, his season was cut short due to an ankle injury. Fans are now wondering what’s to come next season, starting with who the 49ers are drafting in April, and if Jimmy G. will be replaced.
While several rumors predict the Niners will look to a younger QB for their first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, 49ers general manager John Lynch shared his early prediction on Tim Kawakami’s “The TK Show.”
“We certainly could [select a QB], I don’t anticipate that right now, but we’re so early in the process, we’ll do what’s best for this team,” Lynch said. “I do wanna make it clear, and I think Kyle and I have been fairly transparent since we’ve been here, we have a lot of belief in Jimmy Garoppolo. Where does that come from? It comes from the sample that we have, and when he’s been out there, we’ve been better. We’ve been successful.
“In addition to that, his teammates understand that. I’ve always believed leaders not only play at a high level, but they also make everyone else around them better. He’s had that quality on our team, I think he’s a good fit for what we do system-wise. Are there some areas he can improve on, sure, and we’ll always challenge him to do that. But we have liked working with him, and we’re excited to have him back.”
The Niners have the No. 12 overall pick and while they won’t have a shot at Trevor Lawrence, there will be plenty of other top signal-callers hard to pass up.
Kyle Shanahan And John Lynch Are on The Same Page
Kyle Shanahan and Lynch both have the same beliefs in Garoppolo, who has led the team 22-8 in regular-season games. And without him, the Niners are 7-26.
“You look into every avenue and you see if there’s something out there that can get you a ton better,” Shanahan said, per ESPN. “That’s the same answer for every position, but look at Jimmy, look what he’s done, look where he’s at financially. We better have a very good answer if you’re gonna find something better than that because Jimmy has shown in one year that he’s the guy who can take us to the Super Bowl, and I also think that Jimmy is going to get a lot better the more he plays.”
Jimmy G. led the Niners to a conference championship in 2019 but played just six games this season. He ended the season completing 67.1 percent of his passes for 1,096 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions.
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Could A Deshaun Watson Trade to 49ers Be An Option?
Lynch and Shanhahn hyped up Garappolo before Deshaun Watson made it clear that he isn’t happy with the Houston Texans after being left out of the front office hiring.
Watson hasn’t formally asked for a trade, but rumors are spiraling and it wouldn’t be a surprise.
Despite having little to no weapons to work with on offense, Watson finished the 2020 season throwing for almost 4,823 yards, 33 touchdowns, and a final QB rating of 70.1 QBR.
The 49ers could trade away Jimmy G. and several draft picks to Houston, but any trade involving Garoppolo would have to be approved by the quarterback himself as he has a no-trade clause in his contract for the 2021 league year. The Niners couldn’t do anything without his permission until March of 2022.