This offseason has been a whirlwind for 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Over the past few months, the veteran quarterback has watched as his current club traded up to the No. 3 overall pick with the clear intention of drafting his successor. That came to fruition last week at the 2021 NFL Draft when San Francisco selected quarterback Trey Lance out of North Dakota State. Throughout the pre-draft process, the Niners brass wasn't shy about revealing that they wanted a more durable piece under center, leaving Garoppolo's future in the NFL hanging in the balance.
While both head coach Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch relayed that Garoppolo had been classy in his approach throughout this admittedly awkward period, we never heard much from the quarterback himself. On Tuesday, Garappolo broke his silence on this seismic move that the 49ers put into motion while speaking to Damon Amendolara on CBS Sports Radio's "The D.A. Show" alongside his father, Tony.
"No, not really," Garoppolo said when asked if any period of this offseason has frustrated him. "Like my dad was saying, my dad is an electrician, grew up in a blue-collar household -- it's just one of those things you've got to roll with the punches. Whatever opportunity presents itself you've got to be ready to take advantage of it. That's kind of what I have done my entire career and that's what I am going to keep doing. Like my dad said, nothing is going to be handed to me. Nothing is going to be handed to anyone in this league. You've got to go in there and work."
Garoppolo did say that the communication between him and the 49ers organization has been solid, particularly with Lynch, who he noted has been genuine throughout the process.
"Yeah, John called me," he said when asked how much he was in the loop of the 49ers' offseason movements and targeting another QB. "He didn't tell me who or how they were going to do it but he gave me the heads up. John has been really cool throughout this whole process. As far as GM goes, he's as straightforward ... just an overall good person. You've really got to appreciate him for that. Throughout the whole thing, it could have gotten a little fishy here and there, but he was very straightforward the whole time and I appreciate him for that."
"We were pretty honest with each other," Garoppolo added of his conversation with Lynch about adding another quarterback. "It's one of those things that [Trey Lance is] going to come in here. I know it's going to be a competition between us like it was between me and Tom [Brady] when I got drafted to New England. At the end of the day, like my dad was just saying, all you can ask for is the opportunity. Once they said, you'll have the opportunity to start this year and fight it out, I was all for it. I'm ready for the competition and that's what we're here for."
Of course, while Garoppolo's injuries are the main driver as to why the 49ers made this move, it is a bit jarring to see the club move on from a quarterback that nearly helped them win a Super Bowl and is 26-9 (including playoffs) as the starter for the franchise.
"That's not really the NFL," he said. "It's a 'What have you done for me lately?' kind of business and I know that. I've known that my whole career. It's one of those things -- you've got to go out there and do it again. Can't be satisfied with just doing it once, you've got to -- every season -- just keep going at it."
While it does seem like Garoppolo could be the 49ers' starter to begin the 2021 season, a trade could also be on the table, especially if the organization feels like Lance can take the reins out of the gate. With that in mind, Garoppolo was asked about a potential return to the New England Patriots, which had been a popular destination for him given that was the club that originally drafted him in 2014.
"I don't know. We never really got to cross that bridge," he said. "You never know where your path is going to take you in the NFL. I thought I was going to be in New England for my entire career. That didn't go as planned. It's kind of one of those businesses, you just got to be ready for anything. You've got to be on your toes. You've gotta be able to react and however the story plays out you've just got to be ready to run with it."
With the Patriots drafting Alabama's Mac Jones No. 15 overall, however, a return to New England may not be the best long-term move for Garoppolo as he continues to monitor possible landing spots outside of the Bay Area. In the meantime, it appears as if Garoppolo is gearing up to compete against Lance for the starting job for this coming season. If he's able to keep his gig, perform well, and, most importantly, stay healthy, clubs should start popping up in relatively short order.