Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

49ers would ‘win a Super Bowl’ with Matthew Stafford, says one NFL coach

Dec 2, 2020 at 8:24 AM--

Head coach Kyle Shanahan has said that he expects Jimmy Garoppolo to be the San Francisco 49ers' starting quarterback next season. He remains hopeful that his quarterback will return this year from his second high-ankle sprain of the season and help the 49ers in a playoff push.

"I expect Jimmy to be our starter next year," Shanahan said. "... Jimmy's won a lot of games for us this year. It's a lot harder to win games when he's not here, and I'm just hoping we can get him back."

Still, that isn't stopping anyone from speculating about the future of the 49ers' quarterback situation. Could an heir apparent be put into place via the draft? Could the 49ers change their minds and alter their plans altogether? What would that mean for Garoppolo?

What if Matthew Stafford becomes available in Detroit?

Mike Sando of The Athletic recently discussed potential trade destinations for the Lions quarterback while noting that Stafford is probably Detroit's best option to win in 2021. However, he did list the Niners as a potential landing spot, and it would appear that one unnamed NFL offensive coach loves the fit.

"They would win a Super Bowl," the coach told Sando. "Stafford would be in a real organization finally. He would bend to Shanahan and that offense because there is such a history of success with that system. And Stafford would know he's not going to get hit in the head all the time like in Detroit."

Sando notes that Shanahan might show more trust in the passing game with Stafford under center.

"Shanahan had greater faith throwing the ball with (Falcons QB Matt) Ryan than he has throwing the ball with the quarterbacks in San Francisco," wrote Sando. "Stafford would open the playbook."

The Lions have said that the next head coach would make any decision on Stafford. 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman wants that man to be Robert Saleh.

"He has to get the Detroit job," Sherman texted to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer on Sunday. "Homegrown. He's a great leader of men. And he's not stubborn. He doesn't just think he has all the answers. He comes up with a great plan and evolves it with his players."

Saleh's stock is on the rise, and there is a lot of discussion surrounding him and the Lions' head-coaching vacancy. Might he want Garoppolo helming the offense in Detroit if he brings one of the 49ers' offensive assistants with him to be his offensive coordinator? Could a deal involving Stafford be struck?

It's all speculation at this point.

The Lions are 4-7, and Stafford, a 12-year veteran, has completed 63.2 percent of his passes for 2,876 yards with 18 touchdowns compared to eight interceptions. His Lions have finished with a winning record just three times in his previous 11 seasons and don't appear on track to do so this year.

"Stafford has done what he can do there (in Detroit)," one veteran coach told Sando. "He has done everything they have asked of him with new staffs to new offenses to new everything, and they should let him go nice and quietly."

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