Jimmy Garoppolo came within one win of making his second Super Bowl appearance in three seasons as the 49ers' starting quarterback, but all signs point to the veteran playing elsewhere in 2022. Days after coach Kyle Shanahan suggested Garoppolo's uncertain future has been "reality" since the team traded up to draft Trey Lance in 2021, Garoppolo acknowledged he may have played his last game in a 49ers uniform. Addressing reporters after San Francisco's 20-17 NFC Championship loss to the Rams on Sunday night, the QB said "it was an emotional" scene between he, teammates and 49ers management following the game.

"It was tough," Garoppolo said, when asked about a postgame embrace with general manager John Lynch. "It was an emotional locker room, like you'd expect. It's a tough one. ... (The emotions) hit pretty hard in the locker room. It's one of those things you gotta be glad it happened, just smile from it, think about the good things. We'll see what happens in these next couple days, weeks, whatever, but I love this team."

Shanahan, for what it's worth, told reporters after the game that he wasn't going to "make a farewell statement" regarding the QB's future. "That's the last thing on my mind," he added, reiterating his admiration for Garoppolo.

The 49ers figure to either trade or release the former Patriots reserve before the start of 2022, however. With Lance waiting in the wings as a premium investment and Garoppolo once again battling multiple injuries in a so-so 2021 performance, the latter simply doesn't logically factor into San Francisco's future plans at his current salary. Garoppolo is due $26.95 million in 2022, the final year of a five-year extension he signed in 2019, but the 49ers can save nearly all of that money by cutting or trading him.

"Nobody wants to be in the position he was in," left tackle Trent Williams told reporters after the game. "But you couldn't tell. He handled it like a class act. I'm proud of him. (He's) a brother for life."