Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports



On Sunday, ESPN's Adam Schefter dropped a perceived bombshell on San Francisco 49ers fans, writing that newly acquired quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, may merely be a placeholder for the team. The report was overanalyzed to the point that many viewed it as the 49ers trading for Garoppolo just to possibly deal him away later in the way one might flip a house to make a profit.

"While the San Francisco 49ers' trade with the New England Patriots for Jimmy Garoppolo might suggest that they would enter into a long-term partnership with the quarterback," Schefter wrote, "in reality, he serves as a placeholder at the position until they get to know each other, league sources told ESPN."

The ESPN insider continued by stating the 49ers could still pursue a top quarterback in the draft or even a costly free agent. Both of those scenarios were – for the most part – dismissed once the trade for Garoppolo was made official. Quarterback is no longer seen as a need for the 49ers, which will allow them to focus on any of the numerous other positions of need in the draft and free agency.

Schefter joined the "Murph & Mac" show on Thursday morning to offer some clarification on the report while stressing that the 49ers hope Garoppolo is a long-term answer at the quarterback position.

"In a perfect world, they love what they see (in Garoppolo), and he loves what he sees (in the 49ers), and they live happily ever after and it's not an issue," Schefter said on KNBR. "But, in the event that they think that there's a better option out there, at least they now have a quarterback chip, so to speak, to put it in certain parlance, that they can move on.

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"Look, they traded for Garoppolo because they think Garoppolo has a chance to be a really good quarterback, but what if they finish with the top pick in the draft and they think that Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen or Josh Allen is a can't miss quarterback and they want to go that route? Then, what ends up happening is if they fall that much in love with a quarterback in the draft, they could always trade Garoppolo and probably get back more than they gave up.

"Let's say they want to pursue a free agent quarterback who's out there. And the list of quarterbacks out there could include amongst the likes of Drew Brees, Kirk Cousins, Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Bradford, others -- let's say they want to go that route. 'Boy, we think we're better off with this quarterback.' Now, they could always get that guy and trade Garoppolo under the franchise tag.

"Look, they traded for Garoppolo because they want him to be the guy. Let's be very clear about that. But it doesn't preclude them from exploring the other quarterback options, figuring out what's best for the team, and acting upon that. And that may or may not be Jimmy Garoppolo. I think they hope it will be, but it doesn't assure that it will be."

Schefter points out that a long-term marriage between Garoppolo and the 49ers is also dependent on the quarterback liking the organization and how it is run.

"He may not even like it here," Schefter said.

Since the trade completed over a week ago, Garoppolo has been cramming to pick up the 49ers playbook as quickly as possible. Until Shanahan believes his new quarterback has a good enough grasp of the offense, rookie C.J. Beathard remains the team's starter. Following Sunday's game against the New York Giants, San Francisco will get a much-needed bye week, which will give Garoppolo an additional two weeks to prepare for the possibility of making his 49ers debut on November 26 against the Seattle Seahawks.

Schefter stressed that the trade for Garoppolo created a tryout for both sides and each party went into it with the intention to make it work.

You can listen to the entire interview with Schefter below.