The San Francisco 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo parted ways nearly six months ago when the QB signed a three-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders, yet they just can’t stop talking about each other.
The latest chapter in this increasingly lengthy book came on Thursday, when Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked about Garoppolo’s recent comments regarding the trade of Trey Lance to the Dallas Cowboys. Garoppolo hadn’t said anything particularly inflammatory, but he did say there have “been a lot of weird situations over there,’ which is not an untrue statement.
Here’s how Shanahan responded:
“You know, Jimmy, the comments are the comments,” Shanahan said. “I’m really not concerned about his comments.”
There’s some deep history here. When the Niners traded for Garoppolo in 2017, he was their future. After an injury-spotted few years that nevertheless included a Super Bowl appearance and three overall trips to the playoffs, the Niners drafted Lance in 2021 with the clear intent that he was to be Garoppolo’s replacement. Lance was named the starter in 2022 and the Niners signed Jimmy G to a one-year contract, which was a shrewd move since Lance went down with a season-ending injury in the first game of the season.
However, Garoppolo sustained his own season-ending injury just a few games later, which is how the Niners ended up with Purdy starting. And Purdy’s discovery is what got Lance sent out of town.
Shanahan eventually addressed Garoppolo calling things “weird,” saying that he actually agreed. Then, as if he suddenly realized he was agreeing with Jimmy G, he immediately backtracked, saying it wasn’t weird but was “unusual,” which is a synonym for weird.
“I think any time you trade up to the third pick in the draft and it doesn’t work out, that’s a weird situation. But, that is the situation, so that’s what happened. I don’t think it’s that weird, it’s unusual that doesn’t work out. But, I wouldn’t think ‘that’s weird.’ I think it’s unusual.”
Aside from his brain’s internal battle between the words “weird” and “unusual,” Shanahan was pretty measured in his response. But it was noticeable that he commented on how “real” Lance is and how happy he is to see his former QB starting fresh in Dallas while saying nothing of the sort about Garoppolo. Sometimes, head coach language is like jazz. It’s the notes they don’t play.