Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Garoppolo appreciated John Lynch’s honesty through 49ers’ draft process

May 4, 2021 at 10:20 AM--

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo doesn't see his current situation as awkward. Yes, the San Francisco 49ers drafted his successor, Trey Lance, with the No. 3 overall pick. Yes, Garoppolo will be expected to mentor the young quarterback. Yes, Garoppolo very much wants to hold onto the starting job as long as possible.

The veteran quarterback understands that's life in the NFL, though. You are always being challenged by others looking to take your job and make a name for themselves. Garoppolo sees the situation as an opportunity rather than a source of frustration.

"It's just one of those things," Garoppolo said this morning on The DA Show with Damon Amendolara. "You've got to roll with the punches. And whenever an opportunity presents itself, you've got to be ready to take advantage of it. That's kind of what I've done throughout my entire career, and that's what I'm going to keep doing."

Garoppolo owns a 24-9 record, including the playoffs, as the 49ers' starting quarterback. So why is the team looking to replace him? Garoppolo isn't far removed from helping guide the Niners to a Super Bowl berth.

"It's a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately type of business, and I know that," Garoppolo said. "I've known that my whole career. It's just one of those things. You've got to go and do it again. You can't be satisfied with just doing it once. You've got to go every season. Just keep going at it."

General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan were pretty straightforward with the quarterback on why they were looking to make a move in the draft. Garoppolo hasn't been able to show that he can stay on the field. He has missed 23 games over the past three seasons due to injuries.

Is Garoppolo annoyed by the "injury-prone" label that has been slapped on him?

"No, it doesn't annoy me at all," Garoppolo responded. "Injuries happen in the NFL. It's part of it. It's the players' job and our job just to do everything we can to avoid that. Take the offseason seriously, do whatever you can during the season to get rehab and things like that. But no, it definitely doesn't annoy me."

Garoppolo is appreciative of Lynch's honesty throughout the whole process. In March, the 49ers let their quarterback know of their intentions before trading up.

"Yes, John called me," the quarterback explained. "He didn't tell me who or how they were going to do it, but he gave me the heads up before. John has been really cool throughout this whole process. As far as a GM goes, he's as straightforward (as anyone) and just an overall good person. And you've really got to appreciate him for that. Just throughout the whole thing, it could have gotten a little fishy here and there, but he was very straightforward the whole time, and I appreciate him for that."

Added Garoppolo: "We were pretty honest with each other. It's one of those things; he's going to come in here, I know it's going to be a competition between us, like it was between me and Tom (Brady) when I got drafted to New England. But at the end of the day ... all you can ask for is the opportunity. Once they said you'll have the opportunity to start this year, fight it out, I was all for it. I'm ready for the competition, and that's what we're here for."

Many felt Garoppolo might reunite with Bill Belichick in New England before or during the draft. One report even stated that New England was working on the initial structure of a new contract for Garoppolo, should the quarterback become available. However, the 49ers have made it clear that Garoppolo remains part of the team's plans for the upcoming season. He is San Francisco's starter, and it would have taken being blown away by an offer for that to change.

Would Garoppolo have liked to have returned to New England, the team that drafted him in 2014?

"I don't know. We never really got to cross that bridge," Garoppolo responded. "You never know where your path is going to take you in the NFL. I thought I was going to be in New England for my entire career. That didn't go as planned. It's kind of one of those businesses; you've got to be ready for anything. You've got to be on your toes. You've got to be able to react. And, however the story plays out, you've just got to be able to run with it."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Garoppolo, and his father, below. It begins at about the 19-minute mark.

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