Nearly half a year has passed since Jimmy Garoppolo inked a three-year contract with the Las Vegas Raiders, effectively severing ties with the San Francisco 49ers. Still, both parties continue to be queried about their past relationship, adding new layers to an already complex narrative.
The most recent development unfolded last Thursday when 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was pressed on his views about Garoppolo’s observations concerning the trade of Trey Lance to the Dallas Cowboys. Although Garoppolo didn’t make any particularly provocative statements, he described the situation as having “been a lot of weird situations over there.”
To this, Shanahan replied,
You know Jimmy, the comments are the comments…I’m really not concerned about his comments.
The backdrop to this ongoing drama is rich and filled with twists. Garoppolo joined the 49ers in 2017, seen then as the future of the franchise. Despite a series of injuries interrupting his tenure, which nonetheless saw a Super Bowl run and three total trips to the playoffs, the 49ers drafted Lance in 2021 to be Garoppolo‘s successor. Lance was declared the starting quarterback for the 2022 season, leading the 49ers to re-sign Jimmy G for a single year-a decision that proved prudent when Lance was sidelined with a season-ending injury in the season’s second game.
However, Garoppolo would also sustain a season-ending injury not long after, opening the door for quarterback Brock Purdy to take the reins. It was Purdy‘s breakthrough performances that made Trey Lance expendable, leading to his eventual trade.
When further questioned about Garoppolo‘s use of the term “weird,” Shanahan seemed momentarily to agree before correcting himself:
I think any time you trade up to the third pick in the draft and it doesn’t work out, that’s a weird situation. But, that is the situation, so that’s what happened. I don’t think it’s that weird, it’s unusual that doesn’t work out. But, I wouldn’t think, ‘that’s weird.’ I think it’s unusual.
While Shanahan carefully chose his words, what stood out was his apparent praise of Lance’s “realness” and his optimism about Lance‘s fresh start in Dallas. No similar words of encouragement were offered for Garoppolo, highlighting once again that in the language of coaches, sometimes what’s left unsaid speaks volumes.