The Jimmy Garoppolo era of the San Francisco 49ers seems to be over for real this time.
As the former Niners starting quarterback hit free agency, head coach Kyle Shanahan firmly ruled out any possibility of re-signing him in a conversation with reporters Wednesday.
When asked if he could see a potential Garropolo return given the Niners’ uncertainty at quarterback, Shanahan bluntly replied, “No, I don’t see any script of that.”
The Niners enter the offseason with Brock Purdy and Trey Lance as options to start under center in 2023. Lance, the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, was named the starter to open the season but suffered a season-ending broken ankle. in week 2.
Purdy, the Mr. Irrelevant of the 2022 NFL Draft, ended up taking over when Garoppolo fell in Week 13 and led San Francisco to eight straight wins between the end of the regular season and the playoffs, but is now recovering from a torn UCL from the NFC Championship Game.
Jimmy Garoppolo is leaving the Niners for real this time
Garoppolo has been a member of the 49ers since the 2017 mid-season trade that took him from a top-tier replacement for the New England Patriots to a starter at San Francisco.
Over the next half-decade, Garoppolo led the Niners to consistent winning records and Super Bowl LIV. But that didn’t stop the team from trading and drafting Lance. Despite the team’s success, questions constantly swirled about whether the Niners, one of the most talented teams in the NFL, could do better at QB.
The Niners were expected to trade Garoppolo last offseason when Lance was set to take over as the starter, but shockingly he kept him on a restructured one-year contract. It ended up being a chance move when Lance was injured, until Garoppolo himself fell.
Now Garoppolo is entering free agency hoping to find a team willing to bet on him as a starting quarterback. At worst, it would likely be a premium replacement for a competitor. Meanwhile, the Niners will likely seek their own backup, but Shanahan didn’t provide many details to reporters beyond wanting “the best available.” [quarterback] who can fit into our team structure and salary cap.”
Purdy and Lance are still in rehab. Shanahan said he expects Lance to be ready to train around the start of OTAs in April, while Purdy will likely need several more months.