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Steve Young: Feels like 49ers got ‘beat to the punch’ on Stafford, replacing Garoppolo with rookie ‘intriguing’



© Gary Cosby Jr | 2021 Jan 19

Steve Young has made no secret about his admiration for Matthew Stafford and his belief that he could go down as an all-time great if put in the right situation. To the disappointment of many, that situation will not be San Francisco after the Rams acquired Stafford via trade last month.

Young seemed to indicate that the 49ers were in on Stafford, but like everyone else, were simply outbid by the Rams, who along with trading Jared Goff also parted with a third-round pick in 2021, a first-round pick in 2022 and a first-round pick in 2023.

“I think the Matthew Stafford trade raised some alarms,” Young told Tolbert, Krueger and Brooks on Wedensday. “Do you trust and do you want that relationship with Jimmy to continue or do you want to find that maybe younger, less expensive to open up that Super Bowl window? It feels like they got beat to the punch on the Matthew Stafford thing. I think the Rams just beat them, they beat everybody. The Rams were amazing at getting that thing done. But I don’t think the 49ers are going to miss anybody else.”

So the Stafford ship has sailed, but should the 49ers be all in on Garoppolo for 2021? Young defers to Kyle Shanahan on that one, but admitted that the prospect of moving on from Jimmy and his $26.4 million cap hit is intriguing, and that starting a quarterback on a rookie deal could keep the Super Bowl window open.

“I think it’s going to play out in front of all of us over the next couple months. But they have to maintain that relationship with Jimmy because it might be that’s what they want to do, and they don’t want to feel like it’s, ‘Oh well, we ended up with Jimmy.’ That’s the wrong way to think about it. And I would encourage Jimmy to lean into his relationship with Kyle to show him that he can be trusted, and can be that guy that Kyle’s seeking. And I don’t know if there’s a lot of ways to prove that other than on the field, but certainly, I wouldn’t let any chance of conversation that I can have with Kyle, to go to his house and hang out with him. I’d live at his house if I had to, to try to make sure was up to speed and develop that relationship.

“It is intriguing to try to open up the Super Bowl window, to hold onto everybody if you thought you had a quarterback that Kyle could trust more.”

Todd McShay’s latest ESPN mock draft had quarterbacks taken with the first four picks. That would make Alabama’s Mac Jones as the most likely to be selected by the 49ers at No. 12. Jones led the Crimson Tide to a National Championship victory this year and won three separate awards given to the best QB in college football.

Listen to the full interview below.