Kyle Shanahan expands on Jimmy Garoppolo return discussion with 49ers leaders

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Shanahan expands on chat with players about Jimmy G's return originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch knew certain 49ers players needed to be made aware that Jimmy Garoppolo's return to the 49ers was imminent.

A few days after Garoppolo took a pay cut to remain with the 49ers as Trey Lance's backup, Lynch revealed that he and Shanahan pulled a group of 15 leaders from the roster and informed them what was about to happen.

A little over a week later, Shanahan went more in depth on the conversation with those players, including how Lance handled the news.

"Trey was good," Shanahan told Greg Papa on the latest episode of "49ers Gameplan," which debuted Friday night on NBC Sports Bay Area. "I gave him a heads up on it a few days before that, like a week before. I told him it's an outside chance but I want him to know that if Jimmy doesn't get any good opportunities that he thinks are better for him, I wanted Trey to know that I told Jimmy I'd love to have him back here as the backup if we could fit it into our salary cap and if that was the best thing for him, we'd welcome him back. And I asked Trey how he was with that and Trey was great [with it]. I think he handled it the right way and there was no hesitation on him. but I still thought it was an outside chance."

The 49ers had hoped to trade Garoppolo during the offseason, but shoulder surgery shortly after the end of the 2021 season put those plans on hold. Once healthy, the thought was that a team would come calling during training camp or the preseason if an injury occurred to their in-house quarterback.

No major injuries were sustained, meaning no trade happened in the lead up to the start of the 2022 NFL season.

"But after that [final preseason game], no one got hurt and Jimmy looked at his options and he really liked it here, for what we were offering," Shanahan told Papa. "And Trey was good with that. My biggest thing was, I wasn't going to go talk to the whole team unless it for sure happened. And when it did for sure happen, I had to tell the people it affected the most first. And that was Trey and Nate [Sudfeld]. And they understood. they also had a heads up that it was going to come but I wanted to make sure I told some of our team before it really got out there and I could explain what happened.

"That's not something I really wanted to do in front of 90 guys. That's how many we had at the time. So I tried to pull 15 guys in my office and just talk. At first, they thought 'How's that possible?' They're like 'Who are you cutting? We can't do that.' And then I told them the circumstance and why he was coming back and how it worked and how Jimmy thought it was the best situation for him to come back in the backup role and how I believe it worked for us and I wanted to see what you guys thought. When I told them what the situation and role was, they were very excited. They didn't think that was a possibility. They love Jimmy. They love Trey. And they leave having as many good players here as we can have."

After leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2019 and guiding them to the NFC Championship Game last season, Garoppolo now will be on the sideline watching as Lance takes over as the starter.

RELATED: Shanahan faces nightmare scenario if Lance-Garoppolo pairing fails

It's one of the stranger dynamics in recent NFL history, with a successful quarterback taking a pay cut and backseat to an unproven replacement.

But Shanahan and Lynch believe they have the right players in the locker room to get the 49ers through this unusual situation.

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