Many thought Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers were headed for divorce this offseason, especially when they committed to Trey Lance as their starting quarterback.
If you were shocked that Garoppolo, who was fresh off leading the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game, accepted the role as a backup QB, you’re not alone.
“The chances were, to me, it seemed slim to none,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters Tuesday, per ESPN. “I remember the first week of training camp me saying to Jimmy like, ‘Hey, if you don’t like any of these opportunities, if you don’t go to the place you want, you can’t get the contract that you want, we would love to have you here as a backup in that deal.’ I want you to know that we feel that way but I also think there’s no way you’re not gonna get something as this goes throughout training camp.”
Garoppolo underwent shoulder surgery that essentially halted his chances of getting traded before training camp. He didn’t attend team meetings and stayed away from the team due to him believing he wouldn’t be part of the organization. And even though Shanahan made it clear to Garoppolo what the 49ers’ intentions were, he thought it was a longshot Garoppolo would stay.
“We were always clear to Jimmy that salary cap-wise and a backup role and supporting Trey and that if that worked for him, that was a no-brainer for us. We just didn’t think the chances of that were gonna happen. And it ended up being that way. And so, when it was all said and done, even though it was pretty shocking to us, we thought it was a win-win for both sides.”
Lance is excited Garoppolo is remaining with the team and he still has at least another year of learning under the now-backup QB.
Whether Garoppolo still is in a 49ers uniform for the whole season remains to be seen. But for now, San Francisco has a pretty good backup situation on its hands.