When Jimmy Garoppolo return was first floated by John Lynch, Kyle Shanahan


Jimmy Garoppolo taking a pay cut to stay on as the 49ers’ backup quarterback didn’t just materialize out of thin air. 

As Garoppolo remained on the roster throughout the spring and summer, it became clear that San Francisco might not be able to find a trade partner for the veteran quarterback. It turns out, the 49ers had a contingency plan they were working on. 

In speaking with reporters on Tuesday, general manager John Lynch revealed when he and coach Kyle Shanahan began floating the idea of Garoppolo remaining with the team this season. 

“Yeah, Kyle and I always talk about the direction of our team and this situation with Jimmy has been going on for some time,” Lynch said. “I think we’ve been consistent with a player of his caliber, you don’t just allow him to walk and then other things complicated as we’ve talked about a lot with his shoulder surgery. And so that never materialized, obviously there were going to be some deadlines, but Kyle and I just started floating the idea probably a month ago. What if we kept them here in a backup capacity and at some point, we shared that with Jimmy.”

Ever since the 49ers made it clear they were moving on from Garoppolo shortly after the crushing NFC Championship Game loss, there had been two camps working to get something done, the 49ers and Garoppolo’s representation. Both sides were very patient and Lynch understands why Garoppolo and his agents waited until the very end to strike a deal. 


“It was important for Kyle to let [QB] Trey [Lance] know that that may be a possibility,” Lynch added. “And I think that was the right thing to do, but the crux of the matter is this wasn’t going to happen. And I understand it completely from Jimmy’s side, he had his current contract and they were going to exhaust every opportunity. His agents, Carter Chow and Don Yee, have been doing this a long time and probably rightly so. I remember at one conversation, think if this were your son, you’d wait for every opportunity to collect that whole salary. And the way you do that is a lot can happen and so they waited it out. We waited out, but we had been in communication and then, it kind of came to fruition yesterday morning and it was finished slightly after we got off the practice field. That’s the timeline.”

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It all worked out well for both parties in the end, and now Garoppolo will provide much-needed insurance behind San Francisco’s first-year starter and potentially could see playing time, whether it be in relief of Lance, or for another team after a potential midseason trade. 

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