Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Analyst believes 49ers may be backing Jimmy Garoppolo to boost his value

Jan 5, 2021 at 2:18 PM--

NFL Draft Scout's Matt Miller, formerly of Bleacher Report, joined KNBR on Monday and discussed a topic that is sure to dominate San Francisco 49ers-related headlines until March — Jimmy Garoppolo. While many in the media believe head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch may keep their options open when it comes to upgrading the quarterback position, both have repeatedly backed Garoppolo as the team's starter heading into the 2021 season.

"As for the quarterback position, Kyle and I both have spoken, and spoken fairly directly as to the fact that we expect Jimmy to be our quarterback," Lynch said on Monday. "That's consistently met with other stories, but that's not of concern to us. As of right now, Jed (York) has charged us with being the two guys, obviously with a lot of input from a lot of people, who make those types of decisions, and I think we've spoken clearly to that."

Miller is among those who believe that the public show of support has more to do with timing and boosting Garoppolo's value. After all, Shanahan and Lynch coming out and admitting that they could replace their franchise quarterback will only cause his trade value to plummet.

"You say what you can to protect your guy because you want to keep the integrity of that trade value," Miller told Mark Willard. "And with Garoppolo, come on, we've all connected the dots. The New England Patriots need a quarterback, and Bill Belichick loves Jimmy Garoppolo. You're going to say, 'You know what? We're going to keep this guy. We believe in him. He took us to a Super Bowl. We're not giving up that kind of quarterback.'

"And you know what you're doing. If you end up keeping him, the fanbase sees Kyle Shanahan has faith in Jimmy Garoppolo. That's all we need to see. But you're also telling teams, 'Hey, if you want to get this guy, it's not going to be cheap. We're not just going to cut him and let him go. This is not a Dwayne Haskins situation. If you want him, you're going to have to come get him.'"

Miller adds that it is too early to read too much into what Shanahan or Lynch say during interviews or press conferences.

So what could the 49ers get for Garoppolo if they were able to find a trade partner? Miller can only envision San Francisco acquiring a mid-round pick for its oft-injured quarterback, which might disappoint those who would hope for more. However, the analyst points out the biggest gain from trading Garoppolo might be the salary cap space.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Miller below.

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