The San Francisco 49ers effectively struck a gold mine with Jimmy Garoppolo.

With little hope surrounding the 49ers to start the 2017 season, San Francisco made a franchise-altering trade with the New England Patriots. Garoppolo led the Niners to five straight wins to close the campaign, and his position as the team’s franchise quarterback has sparked major excitement in the Bay Area.

While Garopplo had been viewed as the NFL’s next star QB the past few years, he apparently wasn’t Kyle Shanahan’s first choice when it came to San Francisco bringing in a new signal-caller. During an appearance on ESPN’s “Golic and Wingo,” 49ers general manager John Lynch revealed Shanahan had his eyes set on a proven star quarterback before the club traded for Garoppolo.

“Jimmy, we made the trade, but then there were some days that Kyle Shanahan was like, in mourning, because I think everybody knows his master plan was to have Kirk Cousins come in eventually. I was proud of Kyle because I think he knew that this was the right thing for our franchise. And he didn’t hesitate. But then, even then, Jimmy had to really prove himself. Kyle, I think was really smart. He didn’t play him right away.”

There’s no doubt Cousins is one of the better QBs in the league, but at this point, it might be safe to say that Garoppolo has a greater upside than the new Minnesota Vikings quarterback. And judging from Jimmy G’s body of work, Shanahan likely isn’t dwelling on his original plan not coming to fruition.

Thumbnail photo via Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports