No one saw it coming. When Jimmy Garoppolo was traded on Monday night, San Francisco wasn't supposed to be the destination. Yes, the 49ers are in desperate need of a franchise quarterback, but first-year coach Kyle Shanahan was expected to pursue Kirk Cousins in the offseason.
Turns out, Garoppolo makes a lot of sense for the 49ers. For starters, Cousins will likely command "highest-paid player in the league" status heading into 2018. And even though he and Shanahan worked well together in Washington in 2012-13, Shanahan is also a big Garoppolo fan. In the months leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft, Shanahan was the Browns' offensive coordinator and the Browns, as is the case every offseason, were in the market for a franchise quarterback.
Meanwhile, Derek Carr and Garoppolo lasted until the second round. Which brings us back to Shanahan, who in February revealed that Manziel wasn't among his top-rated quarterbacks heading into the 2014 draft.
"They had me look at every quarterback and evaluate every quarterback,'' Shanahan said during Super Bowl week, via Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot. "That's everywhere. They ask you to evaluate everyone and you give grades and you tell people who you want and you wait to see what happens."
So who were Shanahan's top two favorites?
The Browns traded up to No. 22 to grab Manziel. Former general manager Ray Farmer took responsibility for selecting Manziel though owner Jimmy Haslam may have also had something to do with the decision.
Whatever the reason, Shanahan was overruled.
"I think people heard me, but the results weren't there,'' Shanahan said. "I think there were a lot of people who liked Garoppolo. There were other quarterbacks we liked, too. We put a board together. We rank every one. Then, the people who make the decisions, you have to wait and see what happens. As a coach, it's like that at a lot of places. You have to deal with what happens."
Shanahan left Cleveland after one season -- reportedly due to friction on the coaching staff -- and went to Atlanta where he revived Matt Ryan's career and parlayed that success into the 49ers' coaching job. And now, it appears, he finally has the quarterback he wanted three years ago.
"It's been a great deal for him I'm sure in the situation he is, being behind Tom [Brady], seeing how they do it,'' Shanahan said at the time of Garoppolo. "I'm sure when he does get his opportunity whether it's earlier this year in the two games he played or possibly next year, who knows what will happen -- I'm sure he'll be ready."
Garoppolo will need some time to learn a new offense, but could begin making an impact for the 49ers and