Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Florio: “There could be a new quarterback in San Francisco as soon as 2020”

Jul 4, 2019 at 12:00 PM--

Much of the San Francisco 49ers' 2019 season depends on the health and play of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The team made the decision last year to sign him to a long-term contract, instantly making him the face of the franchise during the Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch era.

But what happens if Garoppolo, who is coming off of an ACL injury, doesn't perform to expectations in 2019? That is a question that Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has been bringing up a lot, and he did so again while looking at the top 30 storylines of 2019. The topic of Garoppolo's future came in at No. 22 on the list.

Florio believes that the 49ers could move on from Garoppolo should he have a subpar outing during the upcoming season. While he doesn't mention the name during his most recent analysis, Florio has already speculated that Shanahan may still be interested in Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, whom he coached for two seasons (2012-13) in Washington.

Garoppolo impressed during a five-game stretch in 2017 and, rather than using the franchise tag, the 49ers handed the quarterback a five-year deal worth up to $137.5 million. The team has an out after this season and would absorb just a $4.2 million salary cap hit should it part ways with Garoppolo. These are all well-known facts that Florio once again points out.

After earning just 10 wins during their first two seasons, could Shanahan and Lynch make a drastic move to appease ownership and save their jobs?

"You've got Coach Shanahan and GM John Lynch entering the third year of six-year deals, fully guaranteed with no offset language," Florio says. "As you get closer and closer to the end of those contracts, the buyout gets cheaper and cheaper. And if ownership isn't happy with the direction of the team, they decide to move on."

Florio believes Shanahan and Lynch could decide to move on from Garoppolo and bring in a new quarterback to get a chance at finishing out their six-year deals or come close. Otherwise, the 49ers could find themselves searching for a new head coach and general manager.

Ownership has been very supportive of Shanahan and Lynch up to this point, and the two made it clear upon being hired that a lot of work needed to be done to rebuild the roster. It was never going to be a one- or two-year turnaround.

"The focal point is Garoppolo," Florio adds. "Will he earn that contract? If he doesn't, what will the 49ers do about it? There could be a new quarterback in San Francisco as soon as 2020. Much of it depends on what Garoppolo achieves or doesn't achieve in 2019."

You can watch the entire segment about Garoppolo below.


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