Jimmy Garoppolo may physically be in Las Vegas, preparing for his first season as the Raiders‘ starting quarterback, but his mind seems to still be on San Francisco and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan.
In a public back-and-forth this week, Garoppolo has referred to “weird situations” taking place in San Francisco under Shanahan‘s leadership — specifically in relation to the quarterback position, where the 49ers traded up to select Trey Lance as Garoppolo’s eventual replacement only to lose both quarterbacks this offseason.
Garoppolo starts war of words
Speaking to Sports Illustrated‘s Robin Lundberg, Garoppolo talked only cryptically about the 49ers‘ quarterback situation — which once saw him briefly become the NFL‘s highest-paid player.
Been a lot of weird situations over there in San Francisco. I’ll just leave it at that.
Garoppolo overcame a knee injury to lead the 49ers to Super Bowl LIV against the Kansas City Chiefs. But the selection of Lance toward the top of the draft in 2021 clearly left a bad taste in Garoppolo‘s mouth, especially as it came the year after he struggled with a high ankle sprain — and preceded a season in which he led San Francisco to the NFC Championship Game.
Shanahan has bigger things to worry about
Shanahan, who joined the 49ers at the same time as Garoppolo, had the chance to respond in a press conference on Wednesday. He directly addressed that which Garoppolo merely appeared to hint at.
“I think anytime you trade up to the third pick in the draft, and it doesn’t work out, that’s the ‘weird situation.’ But that is the situation. So, that’s what happened,” Shanahan said. “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 that’s unusual.”
Perhaps it is for the best that both men have moved on, with Shanahan intent on guiding San Francisco to its first Super Bowl win since the 1994 season — with former “Mr. Irrelevant” Brock Purdy under center. Meanwhile, Garoppolo is hoping to lead the Raiders into the playoffs for only the third time since 2002.