Kyle Shanahan takes morbid turn to deflect question on Jimmy Garoppolo's future

Kyle Shanahan's approach to divulging future San Francisco 49ers quarterback plans could previously be characterized as obtuse.

On Monday, it took a turn better described as morbid.

With the 49ers holding the No. 3 pick in Thursday's NFL draft and Jimmy Garoppolo's role with the franchise murky at best, Shanahan faced questioning Monday about the fate of San Francisco's veteran signal-caller. Here's what he said when asked if Garoppolo would still be on the roster at the conclusion of this weekend's draft:

"I can't guarantee that anybody in the world will be alive Sunday, so I can't guarantee who will be on our roster on Sunday," Shanahan said.

"So that goes for all of us."

OK, then.

The events of the past couple of years have taken a mental toll on most of us. It appears that Shanahan is no exception. That's an exceptionally dark approach to avoid answering a question about football.

49ers' draft, QB plans remain a mystery

It's no secret that the 49ers intend to draft a quarterback Thursday. San Francisco didn't deal a pair of future first-round draft picks to move up from the No. 12 slot to pass on a quarterback. But which quarterback it selects after Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson are presumably gone stands as the biggest mystery of the draft.

Multiple reports have tied Mac Jones to the 49ers. Others believe the Jones reports are part of an elaborate smokescreen to conceal San Francisco's intended selection of Trey Lance or Justin Fields (or somebody else). Meanwhile others wonder why San Francisco would even bother with a smokescreen since it's in full control of its selection beyond the presumed top two quarterbacks.

And who really knows outside of San Francisco? Smokescreens are the name of the draft game regardless of how effective or necessary they are.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers looks on from the sidelines during the second half against the Minnesota Vikings during the NFC Divisional Round Playoff game at Levi's Stadium on January 11, 2020 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Kyle Shanahan's NFL draft smokescreen took an exceptionally dark turn on Monday. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Shanahan committed to keeping secrets

Shanahan kept up with the guessing game Monday, telling reporters that San Francisco had a name in mind when it traded up, but that the selection remains wide open.

“After going through this process, I feel good about five guys at three,” Shanahan said.

Again, that feels unnecessarily obtuse — and equally hard to believe. Are we really supposed to buy that the 49ers invested so much in the No. 3 pick without a firm plan on how to use it?

Amid all the uncertainty remains a forgone conclusion: Garoppolo's time as the 49ers' starter has an expiration date — even if Shanahan won't even commit to that. It's just a matter of when.

Here's hoping his time in San Francisco reaches its conclusion via NFL transaction — as opposed to the alternative Shanahan floated Monday.

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