49ers’ HC Kyle Shanahan spoke at length about QB Jimmy Garoppolo‘s future with the team beyond 2020, including talking about his salary, performance and San Francisco’s other issues beyond the injury to their quarterback. He stopped short of committing to Garoppolo but he didn’t sound like a coach eager to move on.
“You can’t say anything with certainty,” Shanahan said, via Nick Wagoner of ESPN. “You don’t sit here and make promises on anything. When you build a football team, it’s your job to put the best team together year in and year out. People talk about Jimmy’s salary. Jimmy is like one of the middle quarterbacks in the league right now in terms of salary. That’s just how much they cost. So it’s not like it’s something ridiculous or anything like that, so we can work all that out. And, not to mention, look at Jimmy’s record when he’s been here. Jimmy you can win with. He’s proven that. He’s proven he’s a starting quarterback in this league.
“We had a couple of other guys who got opportunities this year who played like they have a chance at times to be starting quarterbacks, but they did play like backups overall. C.J. [Beathard] played like he has ability to be a starting quarterback two nights ago. He also did that in 2017 in a few games that we had with him. I remember him playing like that versus San Diego. But Jimmy, there’s a reason his record is what it is, and that’s why we paid for him to be our starting quarterback. And to think that that’s ridiculous with where his contract is, this isn’t like the first year. That’s how much quarterbacks cost in this league, and he’s right there. I don’t know the number, but I think it’s somewhere between 13th and 19th, so that’s nothing too big. That’s how much they cost.
“Now, you look into every avenue and you see if there’ something out there that can get you a ton better. That’s the same answer for every position, but you look at Jimmy, look what he’s done, look where he’s at financially, we better have a very good answer if you’re going to find something better than that. Jimmy has shown in one year that he’s the guy who can take us to the Super Bowl and I also think that Jimmy is going to get a lot better the more he plays.”
- ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler writes the 49ers are expected by other teams to probably end up keeping Garoppolo, with one NFC executive pointing out how much better they’ve been when he’s played: “You’re seeing Jimmy G’s value through the 49ers’ offensive struggles. They’ve had a lot of success when he’s in the lineup, not so much without him.”
- Others think the team could explore adding a future upgrade or competition, with one highlighting Jets QB Sam Darnold as someone who would be a terrific scheme fit in San Francisco.
- Per Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times, Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians is hopeful RB Ronald Jones (COVID-19/broken finger) will be able to return this week: “Your guess is as good as mine still. Hopefully he’s clearing the COVID and we get him in the building to look at him.”
- Arians indicated the team plans to play its starters in Week 17 against the Falcons even though they’ve already clinched a playoff berth and can’t win the NFC South: “We’re going to play to win.” (Pro Football Talk)
- The Buccaneers are bringing in P Matt Wile for a tryout this week. (Aaron Wilson)
Panthers RT Taylor Moton has been a steady presence on the offensive line since 2018, playing all but a handful of snaps at tackle. With just one game remaining on his rookie contract, he would appear to be Carolina’s top priority to re-sign this offseason, but the two sides have yet to negotiate. That’s not stressing the even-keeled tackle, though.
“All I’m worried about right now is the team ahead … and finishing the season strong,” Moton said via the Athletic’s Joe Person. “I told myself I’m just going to grind out the season, keep my head down and just see where it goes from there.”
Though the lack of negotiations could be a bad sign, it’s worth mentioning the Panthers don’t currently have a general manager. And the person presumed to have the most power in the organization outside of the owner, both now and moving forward, raved about Moton this week.
“He’s an excellent player. He’s an excellent professional. He’s an even better person,” Panthers HC Matt Rhule said. “You hear me talk about the (Panthers) brand and certain type of guys — he’s all that. He’s an excellent, excellent player. He’s a great pro. Never any question really about anything about him. He’s just exactly what you want in your organization. That was a great draft pick.”