NFL Rumors: 49ers' Shanahan Declines to Name Starting QB for 2022

As the 49'ers entered the offseason this year following their loss to the Rams in the conference championship, it was widely presumed around the league that San Francisco would look to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo. Since then a lot has clearly changed, as of today not only does Garoppolo remain on the roster but he may potentially have the chance to start again in 2022.

While it was originally thought that the 49'ers would be leading the trade market at the quarterback position this offseason, an unfortunately timed surgery for Garoppolo seemingly ensured that wasn't the case. Instead, over the last several weeks the league has witnessed the quarterback market shift dramatically with a bevy of household names making moves to new franchises while the 49'ers have been sidelined and unable to partake; at least in any relevant capacity.

At this point, the situation with Garoppolo will likely remaining flexible until training camp but over the last two days at the NFL's Annual League Meeting a handful of comments made by 49'ers leadership has provided both valuable insights while simultaneously creating a lot of new questions.

It has been made abundantly clear by general manager John Lynch that the team will not cut Garoppolo. Lynch was adamant that the 49'ers are prepared to keep Garoppolo at his current salary and Lynch seemed to have little concern regarding Garoppolo's presence negatively affecting the natural progression of Trey Lance. During interviews on Monday, Lynch also denied that any trade talks regarding the quarterback ever reached an 'offer' stage while also explaining that while most of the 49'ers plans originally were based around moving Garoppolo they strongly believe if he remains in San Francisco he will be a positive asset. 

On Tuesday morning, head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed to reporters that the 49'ers were looking at potential trades for Garoppolo this offseason with the intention of promoting Lance to the starting role but interestingly he declined to comment on which of the two would be the team's starting quarterback if both Garoppolo and Lance were on the roster when the season opens. 

When prompted Shanahan responded, "That's a funny question, I haven't thought about it at all yet … we haven't done a roster yet. We probably will never announce a starter because I don't think I ever have, ever. I'm going to keep that going."

Garoppolo is coming off a fairly productive year as the leader of the 49'ers offense; he threw for 3,810 yards and 20 touchdowns while completing 68.3 percent of his passing attempts. At the 30 years old and with a record of 31-14 while with the 49'ers it isn't unwise for the team to keep him as an expensive insurance policy but it could also be detrimental to Trey Lance's development for a number of reasons whether leadership wants to admit it or not. They team would also probably like to move forward with Lance as the unquestioned starter while they can still take advantage of his team-friendly rookie contract.

Over the next couple of months it will be interesting to see how this situation develops as more trades, signings and the draft all continue to shape the offseason but for the time being Garoppolo seems poised to remain with the 49'ers. It's likely that Garoppolo will become a primary trade target again sometime before the 2022 trade deadline but during this interim period, Shanahan will definitely keep every option available for himself and keep us all guessing along the way.

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