The San Francisco 49ers shocked the NFL when they decided to work out a deal that would keep veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who had been heavily shopped during the offseason and training camp, for the 2022 season.
One person who was shocked by the development was 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan who called the move a “win-win” for both the organization, and Garoppolo.
“The chances were, to me, it seemed slim to none,” Shanahan said, according to ESPN’s Nick Wagoner. “I remember the first week of training camp me saying to Jimmy like, ‘Hey, if you don’t like any of these opportunities, if you don’t go to the place you want, you can’t get the contract that you want, we would love to have you here as a backup in that deal.’ I want you to know that we feel that way but I also think there’s no way you’re not gonna get something as this goes throughout training camp.”
The team was suspected to be trading Garoppolo, but with no deal seemingly on tap, there was also the possibility that they would outright release him during roster cut downs on Tuesday.
“To me, it seems like everyone was just waiting for us to cut him so 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, then Jimmy thought this was his best situation that he liked. And that’s why we were so pumped because it’s obviously a better situation for the Niners.
“We were always clear to Jimmy that salary cap wise and a backup role and supporting Trey and that if that worked for him, that was a no brainer for us. We just didn’t think the chances of that were gonna happen. And it ended up being that way. And so, when it was all said and done, even though it was pretty shocking to us, we thought it was a win-win for both sides.”
But while Garoppolo remains with the 49ers for now, this is still Trey Lance’s team.
“We feel very strongly giving the keys to Trey,” Shanahan said. “We were really excited what we thought that could do for our team as a whole. And we’re excited about everything he’s done and all these opportunities gone throughout this season. And I can’t wait to get him started on our team in week one. And having Jimmy there as a backup makes us feel really good because we have a starting quarterback as a backup. The rest of the league had a chance to get him and I just so feel so fortunate that he’s still here in that case.”