NFC Notes: 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo, Cardinals, Rams


Former 49ers QB Joe Montana said during a recent interview that he would choose QB Jimmy Garoppolo over Trey Lance or Brock Purdy next season.

“I start Jimmy,” Montana said, via “How many games has Jimmy won? For the longest time, questions were out with Jimmy for a while. But the one thing he has been able to do is win games for those guys. He’ll make a mistake here and there, but some of those things I don’t just put on Jimmy.”

“(Garoppolo) still won a lot of games before he got hurt,” Montana added. “He put them in that position to go on that run, to begin with. So you handed a guy a team — sort of like somebody else I know got handed a team — so you gotta go with the guy that’s been winning games and gets the offense and go from there.”

“Yeah, (Garoppolo) made a crazy throw and mistake in the playoff game a couple of years ago,” Montana continued. “But he has won a lot of games. I can’t say the same for Trey. You don’t know that from him… So, I think you start with the guy who has won all the games for you. You’ve got to figure out the backup situation with Trey. Does Trey know the offense well enough? Is he meant for that offense?”


  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer thinks the Cardinals could be waiting until after the Super Bowl to be able to talk to Eagles OC Shane Steichen and DC Jonathan Gannon.
  • He adds he heard Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill did a ton of homework on Steichen, and new GM Monti Ossenfort has a good mutual friend with Gannon in Texans GM Nick Caserio.


  • The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue notes that the Rams typically prefer to let other teams bid heavily on their pending free agents, as it helps them in the compensatory pick formula. For DT A’Shawn Robinson, the expectation is that will happen. 
  • Rodrigue points out the Rams would like to keep DT Greg Gaines to avoid replacing both of their interior run stuffers. But if Gaines’ market gets too hot, they might not have a choice. 
  • Rams K Matt Gay is also a pending free agent, and while the team wants to keep him to stave off the instability of not having a reliable kicker, Rodrigue says he’s not exempt from their philosophy of not getting into a bidding war. 
  • Other pending free agents who aren’t likely to return include QB Baker Mayfield, G David Edwards, S Nick Scott, S Taylor Rapp, and CB David Long, per Rodrigue.
  • She adds the caveat that the Rams might be a little more willing to stretch to bring back Scott, and if the market for any of these players, like Mayfield, isn’t what they expect, a return can’t be ruled out entirely. 
  • Ian Rapoport reports that former Jets OL coach John Benton is expected to interview for the same job with the Rams.

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