The San Francisco 49ers want Jimmy Garoppolo to be their quarterback of the future… Right?

Not so fast.

The Niners, who traded a 2018 second-round pick to the New England Patriots to land Garoppolo, aren’t totally committed to a “long-term partnership” with the 26-year-old, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday, citing league sources. In fact, San Francisco merely views Garoppolo as a “place-holder” at QB until both sides can get to know each other better, per Schefter.

This news may seem surprising, but the Niners have some enticing options outside Garoppolo. They’re on pace to have a top-two pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and could target another QB with that selection, or they could use their ample salary cap space to pursue a free agent quarterback like the Washington Redskins’ Kirk Cousins.

Bringing in another signal-caller would allow San Francisco to acquire another valuable asset in exchange for Garoppolo, Schefter reported.

“If the 49ers decide to not sign Garoppolo to a long-term deal, they could use a franchise tag on him and then dangle him to the highest bidder in a trade,” Schefter wrote. “If they were to do that, there would be interest, sources said, and they could possibly get back more than the second-round pick they surrendered.”

Of course, the Niners could just as easily decide to lock up Jimmy G long-term. He hasn’t played a game for his new team yet, and if general manager John Lynch and Co. like what they see in the former Patriot down the stretch — if he plays, that is — then they could decide he’s their man. It appears his job isn’t etched in stone, though.

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Thumbnail photo via Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports Images