Why 49ers view 'shocking' Jimmy Garoppolo situation as 'win-win'

·3 min read

Why 49ers view 'shocking' Jimmy G turn of events as win-win originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The 49ers are a better team than they were 24 hours earlier.

That much is certain.

And 49ers general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan said things could not have fallen into place any better with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo accepting a significant pay reduction to remain with the club as Trey Lance’s backup.

“There aren't 32 starting quarterbacks in this league, and we believe we have two of them now,” Shanahan said in a conference call with Bay Area reporters on Tuesday.

Lynch and Shanahan dismissed the notion the 49ers could have done more to get Garoppolo prepared for the possibility he could be forced to play early in the season. Garoppolo was cleared to practice from the opening of training camp, but Lynch said Garoppolo’s throwing program enabled him to rebuild the strength in his throwing shoulder in a controlled environment.

Also, Garoppolo did not take part in meetings or practices because, as Shanahan said, the odds seemed “slim to none” that Garoppolo would open the season with the 49ers.

“That’s why we didn’t have him in meetings. That’s why we didn’t put him on the practice field, because we nor Jimmy or really anybody else in the league believed what the outcome was going to be,” Shanahan said.

When the final week of the preseason was played and no team entered the quarterback market for the start of the regular season, Garoppolo had to make a decision on which situation was best for him.

He determined the best move was to remain with the 49ers and accept a pay cut from $24.2 million in base salary to $7 million in salary and roster bonuses. The contract was finalized on the eve of the NFL's roster cut-down day.

“As he saw the other situations out there, and I think it seems like everybody was just waiting for us to cut him before they could see how much they could get him for,” Shanahan said. “But once the last Saturday preseason game happened, and no one got injured, Jimmy thought this was his best situation.

“That’s why we were so pumped because it was obviously the best situation for the Niners. We love getting Jimmy back, but to have him there (practicing) earlier in camp was not an option. We weren’t going to put him out there in practice for his sake or our sake. He was on a $24 million contract.”

Shanahan said he was not the least-bit concerned about Garoppolo not being involved in meetings this summer. After all, Garoppolo has been part of the system since his trade from the New England Patriots in the middle of the 2017 season.

“We have zero worries about him not having a playbook,” Shanahan said. “I don’t have one, either.”

Garoppolo’s representation waited until as late as possible before the start of the season to accept a reduced contract from the 49ers. The deal is consistent with what is expected for a well-paid backup quarterback.

“We would have let him go under that current deal,” Shanahan said. “That was not an option. “When it was all said and done, even though it was shocking to us, we thought it was a win-win for both sides.”

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The 49ers open the season on Sunday, Sept. 11, against the Chicago Bears, and Garoppolo will suit up as the No. 2 quarterback on the team.

“Jimmy’s been here,” Shanahan said. “He’s been rehabbing. He’s in great shape. He’s ready to go.  Of course you’d love for your backup quarterback to get reps in training camp, but that was not an option at the time, at all.

“This was not an option until I think Jimmy saw all the other situations and the final preseason game ended. I’m glad that what he thought was the best option for him was a great option for us.”

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