From the moment the San Francisco 49ers traded a bundle of future picks to move up to the No. 3 selection in the 2021 NFL draft—the sort of investment teams almost always make for a quarterback—the future of incumbent signal-caller Jimmy Garoppolo was cast into doubt.
It looks as though his time in San Francisco is drawing to an end as expected, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports:
When the Niners traded their 2021 first-rounder (No. 12 overall), 2022 first- and third-rounders and 2023 first-round pick to move up to No. 3 in a deal with the Miami Dolphins, some thought the team could keep Garoppolo for another year as a bridge quarterback while it groomed a young player at the position.
But head coach Kyle Shanahan made that feel less likely with his comments Monday:
Garoppolo, 29, has struggled to stay healthy in San Francisco, missing 23 games in the past three seasons. When he's been on the field, he's been up and down, throwing for 7,352 yards, 46 touchdowns and 26 interceptions, completing 67.5 percent of his passes.
If you translate those numbers to a 16-game season, you get 3,795 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions—not terrible, but not great.
Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have apparently decided Garoppolo isn't the future at the position.
The main question is who the team will draft, which is unclear, even if Alabama's Mac Jones has been the popular name for the past month:
Michael Giardi @MikeGiardi
This has been the buzz around the league the last week or so. Two very different QBs, and to swing it back to the #Patriots, one that could impact the availability of Jimmy Garoppolo (despite what SF has said). As I said earlier this week, Jones is considered more "pro ready." https://t.co/0DdoXqMofJ
Dan Patrick Show @dpshow
"Kyle Shanahan is making the pick and Kyle wants Mac Jones. There are people in the building who like Trey Lance. He's working with Tom House and John Beck. A number of teams value their input as do the #Niners. There's reason to believe that SF is monitoring his progress." -DP https://t.co/PUUXVTZn2d
But the other question is when, or if, Garoppolo will be traded. It seems more likely than ever that he'll be changing addresses.