San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo did not sound like a player headed out the door in his final media session of the season. Despite rampant speculation that the Niners could explore other options at quarterback, Garoppolo emphasized, “I’m here to be the quarterback of this team.”
“I honestly haven’t put too much thought into it,” Garoppolo noted, via 49ersWebZone.com. “All those things get said, but at the end of the day, I’m a 49er. I’m here to play quarterback. I’m here to be the quarterback of this team and every day I go out there and try to prove that to my teammates and my coaches. At the end of the day, that’s what really matters. …John and Kyle, I think they’ve talked to the media and said what they’ve said, and I love those guys for it. Yeah, this is where I want to be and I love it here.”
This is exactly what you would expect Garoppolo to say as the quarterback is set to make a $24.1 million salary next season and is under contract through 2022. As we know, Garoppolo’s future in San Francisco is not entirely up to him, and the 49ers front office faces a big decision this offseason.
49ers on Garoppolo’s Future: ‘We Expect Jimmy to Be Our Quarterback’
There are several reasons the Niners could explore other options at quarterback. Garoppolo has played in six games or fewer in three of his four seasons with the 49ers. Garoppolo’s durability is just one of two major questions the Niners must consider when it comes to the future of the quarterback position.
The other item to ponder is whether Garoppolo can play as a high-level quarterback even when he is healthy as his salary would indicate. 49ers general manager John Lynch once again doubled-down on Garoppolo’s future noting the team “expects” Garoppolo to be their starter in 2021.
“Kyle and I have both spoken and spoken fairly directly, as to the fact we expect Jimmy to be our quarterback,” Lynch said, per NBC Sports Bay Area.
The 49ers continue to use words like “expect” when it comes to Garoppolo’s future. While it is a vote of confidence, it is far from a definitive statement leaving the door cracked for a potential change.
The 49ers Admitted to Considering Signing Brady Last Offseason
We know the door is cracked because the Niners admitted to considering other options during last offseason, even after a run to the Super Bowl. Kyle Shanahan previously noted the 49ers considered signing Tom Brady heading into the 2020 season. Ultimately, the Niners opted to stick with Garoppolo, but it does call into question whether other quarterbacks will get even more consideration in 2021 after he once again struggled to stay on the field.
“We had to seriously discuss it to decide whether to go forward to where it could come close or not,” Shanahan told The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami on “The TK Show” in April 2020,per NBC Sports Bay Area. “So it didn’t come close, but that’s why John and I had to put the time into it. If you would have asked us that right after the Super Bowl — I mean, Tom Brady, everyone knows what Tom Brady is, and how unbelievable he’s been. But if you had asked us that right after the Super Bowl, that’s kind of unheard of. It’s a pipe dream. Like, you don’t really think about that.”
Garoppolo emphasized that his top priority is being able to stay healthy in 2021. The 49ers quarterback admitted “it’s all about availability” when it comes to what he needs to improve upon for next season.
“Really, it’s all about being out there,” Garoppolo said, via 49ersWebZone.com. “It’s all about availability. I know that. It’s been a series of unfortunate events with the injuries and things like that, but one thing I’m excited about is just getting ready for this offseason. Getting the body back to where it needs to be, getting ready for next season. There were so many things that I just have in mind and have planned ready to go and I’m ready to attack this offseason.”