Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

49ers keeping quarterback options beyond 2020 open, says La Canfora

Oct 25, 2020 at 9:46 AM--

There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the future of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Will he be part of head coach Kyle Shanahan's plans moving forward? Some would say the quarterback has a lot to prove this season, and it's been an up and down start with an injury thrown in the mix.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that San Francisco will exit this season with a flexible mindset regarding the quarterback position (h/t to Marcus White of NBC Sports).

"While the 49ers invested heavily in quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo just a few years ago," wrote La Canfora, "multiple league and team sources indicated that the organization is very much keeping its options open regarding the future of that position."

The NFL writer states there were "differences of opinion" about the extent of the high-ankle sprain that Garoppolo suffered during Week 2, forcing the quarterback to miss two games before returning in a disastrous Week 5 performance. La Canfora didn't expand on the statement, though.

Garoppolo's play was much-improved last weekend against the Los Angeles Rams, and, of course, you have the fact that he led the 49ers to a Super Bowl last season in his first full NFL season as a starter. Many will point to his playoff and fourth-quarter Super Bowl performance as validation for criticism, though.

"It's wait and see," one source reportedly told La Canfora. "He's still under evaluation. It could go in a few different directions, and is it possible he's not the guy next year? That's fair. I don't think that's lost on anybody."

After this season, the 49ers will have paid off the bulk of Garoppolo's five-year deal. The team will still owe him $51.1 million in the remaining two years, and San Francisco can part ways with its quarterback without much of a penalty.

"Kyle thinks he can turn almost anyone into a star," another source who has worked with Shanahan told La Canfora. "He's had a lot of success with a lot of different guys and the salary structure on that team has changed dramatically the last few years. He's not a guy who thinks he needs a $30 million a year QB to win. And they aren't exactly gushing about the guy that they have now."

The 49ers admitted that they briefly flirted with the idea of adding Tom Brady this offseason. There has already been speculation that a reunion between Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and Shanahan might be a good fit. Then you have whatever is going on with the Minnesota Vikings, which makes Kirk Cousins' future unclear.

With the salary cap not expected to increase next year — possibly even decrease — the 49ers may be forced to make some difficult choices.

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