George Kittle throws support behind Jimmy Garoppolo’s return as starter

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Charean Williams
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49ersr coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday he expects Jimmy Garoppolo to return as the team’s starting quarterback in 2021.

A day later, tight end George Kittle has thrown his support behind that scenario playing out for the 49ers next season.

“At the end of the day, I play tight end here and I just work here, but I think that I do have a little bit of a voice and I’ve said multiple times that I just love playing football with Jimmy G,” Kittle told KNBR, via NBCSportsBayArea.com. “Our team is different when he’s out there, and that’s why it’s fun to play football with him because I think we both have big-time changes to our huddles when we’re both on the football field.

“I can’t say enough about the leader Jimmy G is, and how his presence changes how the team is feeling, how the team is going about its business and how the team practices every day. Jimmy G is our quarterback, and moving forward he’s our quarterback, and that’s all I really have to say about it. I’m going to go with the guy that took us to a Super Bowl and played at a high level the entire year. That’s my case for Jimmy G, and I think it’s a decent one.”

Shanahan did not rule out bringing in another quarterback. Backups C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens are scheduled to become free agents in the offseason. The 49ers signed former first-round pick Josh Rosen off the Buccaneers’ practice squad last week.

The 49ers flirted with Tom Brady this past offseason. Could they look at acquiring a Matthew Stafford, a Matt Ryan, a Mitchell Trubisky, or even drafting a Zach Wilson or Trey Lance?

Garoppolo is scheduled to count $26.4 million against the cap in the next-to-last year of the deal

In 3-1/2 seasons in San Francisco, Garoppolo has started 30 games. He has missed 23 with injuries.

Garoppolo has a 22-8 record with a 98.1 passer rating.

George Kittle throws support behind Jimmy Garoppolo’s return as starter originally appeared on Pro Football Talk