- Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says the 49ers first engaged the Dolphins in trade talks about three weeks after they had finished their deep dive into the quarterback class and determined they wanted to trade up from No. 12.
- Breer mentions San Francisco has some strong relationships with members of the Jets’ staff and determined in the process of vetting a potential trade for QB Sam Darnold that New York wouldn’t trade the No. 2 pick.
- The third-round pick the 49ers sent the Dolphins as a part of the trade is a compensatory pick they received for losing Robert Saleh to the Jets as head coach, per Breer.
- As to who they’ll actually take with the No. 3 pick, Breer says the 49ers can now dig into Alabama’s Mac Jones, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance and Ohio State’s Justin Fields without worrying about having to be sneaky.
- Breer writes that the team continues to maintain QB Jimmy Garoppolo is not available but he thinks that could change if they get a strong offer or the rookie quarterback San Francisco drafts is a quick study.
- He explains the team feels Garoppolo is still their best bet to win a Super Bowl this season and they have the cap space to carry him for now. Breer also points out 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan‘s system is notoriously difficult to learn, with Matt Ryan taking a full year to acclimate and Garoppolo sitting for a month after being traded before being inserted into the starting lineup.
- However, if things change Breer won’t rule out a trade of Garoppolo closer to the season similar to how Sam Bradford was traded in 2016. He adds the team has talked to Garoppolo and believes he’ll react positively to the challenge.
- Lynch and Shanahan spoke to the media on Monday, where Lynch reiterated that Garoppolo is part of their plans: “The message was what we were doing, why we were doing it and why he very much is still part of our plans. Those conversations should remain private. But Jimmy likes competition.” (Cam Inman)
- Lynch said Garoppolo obviously wasn’t jazzed about the news but he took it professionally: “Obviously no one wants to hear that. He wasn’t totally excited about it, as you’d expect. This doesn’t change any of our circumstances right now. We’ve got a real good team.” (Inman)
- Lynch elaborated more on their plans, saying they got approval from ownership: “We felt like we had a team that can compete. … We went to ownership, said ‘hey things are looking good, we want to make this (trade), but we don’t want to say good bye to Jimmy.'” (Breer)
- Shanahan added that they would be open to trade offers for Garoppolo if another team were to call: “Yeah, that’s accurate with every player on the team, even myself, if someone blows us away for an offer.” (Inman)
- Shanahan also echoed Lynch’s comments that they believe this can work with Garoppolo in 2021: “I’m sure Jimmy was a little pissed off from it, like I’d be. But knowing Jimmy, he’ll be fired up come in, work his butt off. The madder Jimmy gets, usually the better he gets. This is going to be a good thing for Jimmy, too, which would be a great thing for the 49ers.” (Inman)
- As to why they made the move, Shanahan said they felt like they needed to add a quarterback and would be “left at the altar” if they waited at No. 12. (Inman)
- Lynch acknowledged they paid a steep price, surrendering two future firsts: “We paid somewhat of a premium doing it early, and why was that important, I remember one thing Bill Walsh used to talk about when I was at Stanford is that you’ve got to beat your opponent to the punch.” (Inman)
- Shanahan told reporters there are at least three quarterbacks they have a lot of confidence in and probably more: “To move up to 3, we had to feel good there’d be three guys we’d feel comfortable leading our team for a long time. There’s a chance to get there with four or five. There’s five guys at are kind of at this party.” (Inman)
- NBC Sports’ Peter King also says the 49ers haven’t decided who they will draft with the No. 3 pick. He reports 49ers GM John Lynch and Shanahan will attend Alabama’s second pro day on Tuesday to watch Jones, while assistant GM Adam Peters takes a contingent to watch Fields’ pro day which is the same day.
- NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah tells the Athletic’s Robert Mays that the overwhelming sense from people he talks to inside the NFL is that San Francisco moved up for Jones: “Of the people that you would want to believe, and you put your faith in, the overwhelming majority of them believe this is going to be Mac Jones with that pick.”
- Shanahan revealed that Fields will have a second pro day that he will be able to attend personally to evaluate. (Matt Barrows)
- The 49ers are also trying to set up a second pro day to evaluate Lance. (Barrows)
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