Jan 22, 2022; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) in action against the Green Bay Packers during a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ brass glad ‘rest of league’ passed on Jimmy G

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan thanks the rest of the NFL for passing on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason.

“The rest of the league had a chance to get him,” Shanahan said on Tuesday, sternly rejecting the idea San Francisco didn’t want their former starter to stick around. “There aren’t 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL, and we believe we have two of them.

“We have a starting quarterback as a backup. The rest of the league had a chance to get him, and I feel so fortunate that they didn’t.”

Shanahan and general manager John Lynch said the restructured deal with Garoppolo saves money and brings insurance in the event new starter Trey Lance suffers an injury.

Lance was informed months ago he would be the starting quarterback in 2022 after biding his time behind Garoppolo as a rookie last season.

“When I told Trey that Jimmy’s coming back, he said ‘Awesome,’” Shanahan said. “There was no relationship to mend.”

Garoppolo is on the mend from offseason shoulder surgery but has 45 starts with the franchise since being acquired from the New England Patriots.

His salary, reportedly trimmed to $6.5 million, is the highest in the NFL for a No. 2 quarterback unless a team unexpectedly shifts its depth chart before Week 1.

With no NFL team offering what the 49ers suggested — or perhaps expected — and Garoppolo’s agents satisfied that the door was closed on starting opportunities this season, they approached him about staying put at a reduced salary. The contract allows Garoppolo to leave in free agency after the 2022 season, but he forfeits the majority of his scheduled base salary of $24 million.

“Our patience was rewarded,” Lynch said Tuesday.

–Field Level Media

A dejected Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Holmgren leaves the field after his team was defeated by the 49ers Sunday, January 3, 1999 at 3Comm Park in San Francisco, Calif.

Mike Holmgren Leaves Field Green Bay Packers Vs San Francisco 49ers

Hall of Fame reveals Coaching/Contributor, Senior finalists

Don Coryell, Mike Holmgren and Mike Shanahan are among the 12 Coach/Contributor finalists for the Class of 2023, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced on Wednesday.

The Hall of Fame also announced its 12 finalists for Seniors, and that list includes quarterback Ken Anderson, linebacker Randy Gradishar and offensive lineman Bob Kuechenberg.

Coryell has been one of 15 overall finalists six times, the most recent occasion in 2020. He was known for his revolutionary “Air Coryell” offenses and compiled a 114-89-1 record over 14 seasons while coaching the St. Louis Cardinals (1973-77) and San Diego Chargers (1978-86).

Holmgren went 174-122 in 17 seasons with the Green Bay Packers (1992-98) and Seattle Seahawks (1999-2008), winning a Super Bowl with the Packers in the 1996 season.

Shanahan won two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos (1997, 1998) and went 178-144 in 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Raiders (1988-89), Broncos (1995-2008) and Washington (2010-13).

The other Coach/Contributor finalists are television icon Roone Arledge; front office executives Frank “Bucko” Kilroy, Art Rooney Jr., and John Wooten; owners Robert Kraft and Art Modell; and coaches Buddy Parker, Dan Reeves and Clark Shaughnessy.

Among Seniors, Anderson was NFL MVP in 1981 and a four-time Pro Bowl selection while playing for the Cincinnati Bengals from 1971-86.

Gradishar was the leader of Denver’s famed “Orange Crush Defense” and was a seven-time Pro Bowler in 10 seasons (1974-83) with the Broncos.

Kuechenberg was part of the famed unbeaten Miami Dolphins’ squad in 1972 and was a six-time Pro Bowler during 14 seasons (1970-83) with the franchise.

The other Senior finalists are linebackers Maxie Baughan, Chuck Howley and Tommy Nobis; cornerbacks Eddie Meador, Ken Riley and Everson Walls; defensive lineman Joe Klecko, receiver Sterling Sharpe and running back/defensive back Cecil Isbell.

The Seniors committee will meet Aug. 16 and decide on three players for consideration by the full 49-person Selection Committee in early 2023.

The Coach/Contributor Committee will meet Aug. 23 and decide on one coach or contributor to be considered by the Selection Committee.

–Field Level Media

August 14, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) warm up before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Trey Lance official QB1 for 49ers; Deebo Samuel reports to camp

The Trey Lance era in San Francisco has officially begun.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters Tuesday that veteran Jimmy Garoppolo has been told he doesn’t figure into the team’s plans this season and that Lance, entering his second NFL season, will take over as the starting quarterback.

“Jimmy understands where we’re at, we understand where we’re at,” said Shanahan, flanked by general manager John Lynch. “I can’t tell you how appreciative I have been of Jimmy and him being here and so appreciate what he did for us last year … and taking us real close to the Super Bowl but we have moved on to Trey.”

Garoppolo had offseason shoulder surgery, which Shanahan said has hampered the 49ers’ ability to trade him. Now healthy, Garoppolo will follow a throwing routine on the side and won’t be part of the active training camp roster.

“We don’t plan on (Garoppolo) practicing with the team and things like that, and we’ll take it day by day and constantly talk with him and hope we can figure out the best for both” parties, Shanahan said.

Lynch also said Tuesday that star receiver Deebo Samuel is in camp, despite requesting to be traded in April during a contract stalemate.

Lynch said while a resolution isn’t just around the corner, the two sides are working toward one.

“We’ve had really productive and substantive talks,” Lynch said. “I don’t want to get everyone all excited that something is imminent because we’re not there yet. But we’re really hopeful that, in the near future, we’ll be able to announce something that’s exciting for everyone involved. So that’s good. Deebo’s here today, and we’re excited about moving forward with him as part of this team.”

Samuel, 26, recently requested the trade on the heels of his breakout season. He is heading into the last year of his $7.25 million rookie deal and is due to make $3.99 million this year with a salary-cap hit of $4.89 million, according to Spotrac.

Samuel made the Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro last season after proving to be effective as both a ball carrier and a pass catcher. He made 77 receptions for 1,405 yards (a league-leading 18.2 yards per catch) and six touchdowns, and he added 59 carries for 365 yards and eight touchdowns.

Garoppolo, 30, carries a $26.95 million cap hit for 2022, the final season of a five-year, $137.5 million deal he signed with San Francisco in February 2018.

He went 9-6 as the starter last season, completing 68.3 percent of his passes for 3,810 yards with 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Aug 17, 2020; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive end Dee Ford (55) walks to the field during training camp at SAP Performance Facility. Mandatory Credit: San Francisco 49ers/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network

49ers expected to release DE Dee Ford

The San Francisco have excused defensive end Dee Ford from minicamp and are expected to release him once he passes a physical.

“We do not expect him to be on our team,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said Tuesday.

General manager John Lynch signaled in March that the team didn’t plan to keep Ford, 31, on the roster, telling ESPN, “I don’t see a lot of hope in him being a factor for us on the field moving forward.”

The 49ers acquired Ford from the Kansas City Chiefs in March 2019 for a 2020 second-round draft pick, then signed him to a five-year, $87.5 million contract extension.

But he’s been plagued with injuries, particularly to his back, during his tenure in San Francisco, and he didn’t live up to the lofty numbers he posted in Kansas City in 2018 during his lone Pro Bowl season: 55 tackles (13 for loss), 13 sacks, seven forced fumbles and 29 quarterback hits in 16 games.

In 2019, he played 11 games (two starts) for the 49ers, contributing 14 tackles, 6.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.

The next two seasons, he combined to appear in just seven games, recording eight tackles and three sacks.

Ford has played just 378 regular-season defensive snaps with the 49ers.

Releasing Ford would save the 49ers $1.1 million in salary cap space, but the team would have about $6 million in dead cap money each of the next two seasons, per Over the Cap.

–Field Level Media

Aug 10, 2019; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) and head coach Kyle Shanahan before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan still expects 49ers to trade Jimmy Garoppolo

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo remains with the San Francisco 49ers for now, but the franchise’s decision-makers continue to be open about their preference for trading him before the 2022 season.

Niners coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters at organized team activities Tuesday and was asked about where things stood with Garoppolo.

“I expect him at some time, most likely, to be traded, but who knows? That’s not a guarantee,” Shanahan said. “It’s been on hold when (his surgery) happened. When he’s healthy, we will see what happens.”

Garoppolo underwent surgery on his throwing shoulder during the offseason and is continuing to rehab.

In March, 49ers general manager John Lynch said if he could not orchestrate a trade, the team would keep Garoppolo on the roster rather than release him.

As the team wants to move forward with 2021 third overall draft pick Trey Lance as their starting quarterback next season, Garoppolo himself has been on board with the plan of starting over somewhere new.

In February, shortly after Garoppolo and the 49ers lost to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game, the 30-year-old signal-caller said he and Lynch had discussed “finding the right destination” for him.

In five years in San Francisco, Garoppolo has thrown for 11,162 yards, 66 touchdowns and 38 interceptions over 46 games (45 starts). He led the Niners to Super Bowl LIV in February 2020, where they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs. He has just a 74.1 passer rating over six playoff starts, with 962 yards, four touchdown passes and six picks.

–Field Level Media

October 24, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) passes the football against the Indianapolis Colts during the third quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers stick with Jimmy Garoppolo at QB

San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan erased any doubts about the identity of his starting quarterback moving forward, stating Monday that Jimmy Garoppolo would retain the role.

Backup quarterback Trey Lance is expected to return to practice this week after being sidelined due to a left knee sprain, and Garoppolo is coming off what Shanahan called “his worst game” of the year on Sunday in a 30-18 loss to the visiting Indianapolis Colts.

Even so, Shanahan will go with the veteran Garoppolo and not the rookie Lance when the 49ers (2-4) visit the Chicago Bears (3-4) on Sunday.

“We didn’t go into that (Indianapolis) game thinking that Jimmy was one bad game away from losing his job or anything like that,” Shanahan said Monday. “Jimmy didn’t play as good as he could, which he knows that and I know that. I think there were some pretty hard circumstances for him — for both quarterbacks, considering some of the weather. But I definitely thought he could play better.”

While Shanahan appeared to leave the door open for a change in starters postgame Sunday night, he clarified his position the next day.

“In terms of deciding who’s going at quarterback, that has to do with Jimmy’s health,” Shanahan said Monday. “I wanted to see how his calf was, and it’s good today. So he’ll be starting, and hopefully Trey will get back into practice and have a good enough week to where he can dress, and if he ends up dressing, there’s always a good chance he’ll get some plays in there.

“Trey hasn’t practiced in two weeks, so when he does come back, he’ll probably be limited as it is. Odds are when it comes to the game plan, you’re not going to start rotating quarterbacks, because it’s not an open competition right now.”

Garoppolo, 29, has a 2-3 mark as a starter this season, lowering his career record to 26-11. He has completed 64.8 percent of his passes in 2021 for 1,106 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions. In an eight-year career with the New England Patriots (2014-16) and San Francisco, Garoppolo has a 67.1 percent completion rate, 9,148 yards, 57 TD passes and 30 interceptions.

Lance, 21, lost the lone start of his rookie campaign, on Oct. 10 at Arizona when Garoppolo had a calf ailment. Lance has connected on 52.1 percent of his passes for 354 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.

–Field Level Media

May 25, 2021; Santa Clara, CA, USA;  San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) during Organized Team Activities at San Francisco 49ers Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan: ‘No open competition’ at QB

The San Francisco 49ers spent the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on quarterback Trey Lance, but coach Kyle Shanahan said it’s veteran Jimmy Garoppolo atop the depth chart as training camp opens.

“There’s no open competition, where they’re getting equal reps with the same group,” Shanahan said Tuesday. “Jimmy’s coming in as the 1, Trey as the 2.”

Lance has yet to sign his rookie deal — projected to be four years for $34.1 million – but general manager John Lynch said he expects Lance to sign soon.

In addition to Lance being absent, Garoppolo is getting the nod over Lance as camp begins because of a strong showing in spring workouts and not contract status, Shanahan said.

“I’m just looking at our situation,” he said. “It’s a lot simpler than people make it out to be: Who gives you a better chance to win?”

Lance did receive some work with the first team in spring workouts open to media.

Garoppolo, 29, is 22-8 as the 49ers starter in the regular season but injuries — a torn ACL, a sprained throwing shoulder and two high ankle sprains — have limited the quarterback. Acquired from the New England Patriots on Oct. 31, 2017, for a 2018 second-round draft pick, Garoppolo started just 25 games over the past three seasons as is entering the fourth year of a five-year, $137.5 million contract.

In 2019, when he started all 16 games, the 49ers were 13-3 and reached the Super Bowl, a 31-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

In 31 games (30 starts) in San Francisco, Garoppolo has completed 67.5 percent (596 of 883) of his passes for 7,352 touchdowns with 46 touchdowns and 26 interceptions.

Lance brings to the 49ers a resume that includes 19 college games at FCS program North Dakota State. All but three of those games were in 2019, when Lance threw for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns and zero interceptions, while running for 1,110 yards and 14 touchdowns. He led the Bison to a 28-20 win over James Madison in the FCS title game after the 2019 season.

The 49ers finished last season with a 6-10 record and open the 2021 season Sept. 12 at Detroit.

–Field Level Media

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) and now-former San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner (99) shake hands before the game at Levi   s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers not denying interest in WR Julio Jones

Is former Atlanta Falcons assistant coach Kyle Shanahan interested in bringing All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones to San Francisco?

The 49ers’ head coach stopped well short of dousing trade rumors connecting Jones to San Francisco. Rumor might have become reality on Monday when Jones told Fox Sports 1 he was “out of there” with regard to his time with the Falcons.

“I’m always interested in improving our team,” Shanahan said. “I would never say we’re just done.”

The 49ers made a big splash in the offseason by trading up for the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and selecting North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance.

San Francisco has been active and regularly engaged in the veteran trade market during general manager John Lynch’s tenure, including the 2017 midseason acquisition of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Jones would be owed more than $15 million for the 2021 season in a trade that couldn’t officially be finalized until after 4 p.m. on June 1 (next Tuesday).

The seven-time Pro Bowler has caught 848 passes for 12,896 yards and 60 touchdowns during 10 NFL seasons.

Earlier Tuesday, first-year Falcons head coach Arthur Smith attempted to distance himself from Jones trade talk.

“Any private conversation that I have with our players is going to remain private on my end,” Smith said. “And I’m not going to sit here and comment on any potential roster moves that we may or may not make.”

–Field Level Media

Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, OH, USA; North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance appears on the Red Carpet  at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame before the first round of the 2021 NFL football draft, Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Cleveland.  Mandatory Credit: David Dermer/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

49ers knew Trey Lance was the guy in January

Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch celebrated a decision kept under wraps for more than three months: bringing quarterback Trey Lance to San Francisco.

“You know how it is when you meet someone who kind of has ‘it,’” Lynch said in a joint interview with Shanahan on ESPN late Thursday. “From the first experience we had with him via Zoom to the pro day where we got to go be around him a little bit, it just got better and better.

“I’ll never forget the night Kyle called me up on a Sunday night about 9 o’clock and said, ‘I’m getting kind of obsessed with this guy. You’ve got to watch him.”

Lance was chosen third in the 2021 NFL Draft, following fellow quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars) and Zach Wilson (Jets) off the board.

Shanahan said he knew Lance would be the guy in January. He didn’t know if the 49ers would be able to get him holding the No. 12 pick.

By the time Lynch caught up with film study, they were in lockstep on which quarterback fit the 49ers best. The GM made a trade with the Miami Dolphins to acquire the No. 3 pick in March with eyes firmly locked on Lance.

But Lynch and Shanahan didn’t even share their preference with scouts and assistant coaches. They wanted all evaluations to be independent of any influence of knowing the bosses wanted the small-school product.

And as pundits pointed in other directions, namely at Alabama’s Mac Jones and Ohio State’s Justin Fields, it was the North Dakota State quarterback with limited game reps the 49ers felt was the only option.

“All of that stuff is a concern,” Shanahan said. “The people who are the best in the world at (drafting) are still taking their best guess.”

Shanahan said the Lance pick isn’t an exact science and no pick can be. However, he said the team was very thorough in watching film of Lance, which helped override any worry about the number of games and reps he had in college.

Lance went 17-0 in college — the same number of starts Jones had with the Crimson Tide — but his 318 college pass attempts are the lowest total for a first-round pick in the last 40 years.

He’ll enter the offseason program as a backup to Jimmy Garoppolo.

Lynch said when Lance “is ready, he’s ready” but deferred to Shanahan and the coaching staff on the pecking order at quarterback.

“With Jimmy, if he’s healthy, he’s working his butt off. It’s going to be very hard to come in and beat Jimmy out,” Shanahan said. “Jimmy’s our quarterback right now. The day it looks like Trey can compete with him and he’s ready to go, we’ll see that and we won’t hesitate. We have a very good backup now, he comes in at No. 2.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 20, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch (left) shakes hands with head coach Kyle Shanahan after their win against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

QB3? 49ers set to attend second pro day of Justin Fields, Trey Lance

Oct 18, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman (11) warms up prior to the game against the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

With the third pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, are the San Francisco 49ers locked in on a new quarterback?

Signs point that way as multiple reports indicate the team brass of general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan will be in attendance for the second pro day workouts of prospects Trey Lance (North Dakota State) and Justin Fields (Ohio State).

Fields has his second pro day on Wednesday and Lance is scheduled for his second showing April 19 (Monday), just 11 days before the draft.

Fields is staging another workout in part because the 49ers were in Tuscaloosa, Ala., watching the Crimson Tide draft class that could produce a record number of first-round picks later this month. That includes quarterback Mac Jones.

Interest in the 2021 quarterback class is through the roof and speculation points to the top three or four selections in the draft being spent on QBs, starting with Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

DraftKings lists Lawrence as a -10000 favorite to be the top pick in the draft.

Lynch was in attendance for BYU quarterback Zach Wilson’s pro day right before the franchise acquired the No. 3 pick in the draft from the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins secured the 49ers’ first-round pick (12th overall) in 2021 as well as first-round picks in 2022 and 2023. They also received a third-round selection in 2022.

That 12th overall pick didn’t stay with the Dolphins for long. Miami sent it, along with the 123rd overall pick and a 2022 first-round selection, to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for the Nos. 6 and 156 overall picks in 2021.

The Dolphins initially acquired the third overall pick as part of the trade that sent left tackle Laremy Tunsil to the Houston Texans in September 2019.

While Miami has Tua Tagovailoa as its starter, the trade put the 49ers in play to land one of the top-tier QBs of the draft.

Lawrence is the presumptive No. 1 pick, while the New York Jets traded their own starter, Sam Darnold, and at No. 2 would have a choice from among Wilson, Fields, Lance and Alabama’s Jones.

Drafting a quarterback third overall could create additional draft dominoes considering the 49ers have Jimmy Garoppolo in the fold.

Garoppolo, 29, was acquired in a trade from the New England Patriots in October 2017 and guided the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance following the 2019 season. Garoppolo signed a five-year, $137.5 million contract extension with the 49ers on Feb. 8, 2018, and his cap hit this season is $26.4 million.

–Field Level Media