Jimmy Garoppolo isn't in the most desirable of situations right now with the San Francisco 49ers. The veteran quarterback was back on the field this week as the club began OTAs, which was encouraging after he missed the bulk of the 2020 season due to an ankle injury. However, he rejoins his team after an offseason where the 49ers made a blockbuster trade to move up to the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft where they eventually selected North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance. That pick made it clear that the Niners will move off of Garoppolo at some point in the relatively near future.
Given all that's happened, it wouldn't have been too surprising to see Garoppolo grow irritated at the organization and be a bit more standoffish following the arrival of Lance. However, he has by all accounts taken the high road throughout this process and has been a good soldier for the 49ers. When asked on Tuesday, however, if he even thought of asking for a trade in the aftermath of that move up to No. 3, Garoppolo suggested that it crossed his mind, but ultimately chose to take a different approach.
"When it initially happened, there's a million emotions that go on throughout your head and you think of all the possible scenarios and things like that," he said. "But at the end of the day, I want to play football. I want to go out there and win games. That's what I do. It wasn't anything too crazy. It took a little while to process everything. But once I did, it was just, go out there and ball. You've just got to attack it. NFL is a crazy business, things happen, but you've just got to attack it day by day and make the best of it."
As you'd expect, Garoppolo was peppered with a number of questions regarding his standing with the team and Lance, but when asked if he was using these latest moves as motivation to spoil the 49ers' succession plan he kept things pretty diplomatic.
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"If you start thinking about all of those things, especially as a quarterback, you're going to be in some trouble," he said. "I've got enough things to worry about just with the offense and things like that, trying to improve things here and there. At the end of the day, we're playing football. That's what I love to do. I love to go out there and be with the guys, win football games. That's what I do. It's one of those things that the situation is what it is. It's not changing. You just try to make the best of it. The way I do that, I attack each day and just try to put my best foot forward."
It's possible -- maybe even likely -- that Garoppolo begins the year as San Francisco's starter as Lance continues to develop. If he can remain healthy over that stretch, his prior history tells us that he'll likely pile up some wins (22-8 record as the 49ers starter). If that proves to be the case, Garoppolo could be setting himself up nicely for the next chapter of his NFL career as QB1 elsewhere in the league, which should be his primary motivation from here on out.