Jimmy Garoppolo wasn’t caught off guard by the San Francisco 49ers decision to take a quarterback in this year’s draft. General Manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan gave him a heads up when they made the trade with the Miami Dolphins to move up to the No. 3 overall pick the reason they were making such a high-profile move.
“I think Jimmy’s got a really good trust in myself and Kyle,” Lynch said in an interview with Colin Cowherd, via David Bonilla of 49ersWebZone.com. “I think you earn that, and I think from day one, we’ve been very upfront with Jimmy. When I went to Jimmy, I told him the truth. Like, ‘Look, we have made a decision that we’re going to pursue a quarterback this offseason. You know, Jimmy, when you’ve played, you’ve been tremendous, and the record speaks to that. We feel like there’s room for growth. The biggest thing has been it’s hard to keep you on the field.’
“That’s not an easy thing to tell a player but Jimmy took it tremendously.”
Garoppolo has played reasonably well when he’s played for the 49ers. He’s just been unable to play often enough that it makes it difficult for the 49ers to count on his availability. Garoppolo got hurt as a fill-in starter for Tom Brady with the New England Patriots in 2016, played just three games in 2018 before tearing the ACL in his knee, and played in just six games last season. The one year he stayed healthy he helped the 49ers reach the Super Bowl in 2019.
Lynch said that he also told Garoppolo that he was still in their plans for the here-and-now and that he can still fit with their plans moving forward as they develop Trey Lance into the eventual starter down the road.
“And my other commitment was, ‘But here’s the good news, Jimmy. We don’t want you to go anywhere,’” Lynch continued. “‘We want you to be here, and our ownership has made the commitment that we can do that. We can fit it in our cap, and we think it’s a good situation for you; probably not the one you ultimately want to hear. I’m sure you want to be the long-term guy. There’s a flip side to that. You still could be.’ Because he’s going to have a chance to compete and earn that job, and we’re just going to let that play out. But Jimmy’s a really good football player.”