Friday was a huge day for the future of the San Francisco 49ers.
The team agreed to trade a haul of picks, including three first-rounders, to the Miami Dolphins for the No. 3 pick in this years draft. The trade answered one question, that the 49ers plan to add their quarterback of the future now. It also raised a number of questions, namely: Who are they going to select, and what are they going to do with Jimmy Garoppolo?
Most assume the 49ers will take Zach Wilson, Justin Fields or Trey Lance, the quarterbacks consistently mocked behind Trevor Lawrence at No. 1. 49ers beat writer Matt Maiocco would add another name to the list. He believes Kyle Shanahan may have his eye on Mac Jones, the Alabama starting quarterback who has flown up draft boards after initially being thought of as a second rounder.
“Would not surprise me at all,” Maiocco said of the 49ers drafting Jones on KNBR Friday.
“We know that you don’t do that trade unless there’s a quarterback you are going to take at No. 3, unless they are planning on another trade up at No. 2 which I would not rule out. But if they stay at No. 3, obviously Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have come to an agreement that there are three quarterbacks out there that they would love to have. Trevor Lawrence is going No. 1, you would assume that Zach Wilson is going No. 2, so who is that third quarterback. My initial thought was could it be Mac Jones?
“I don’t know if it would be Mac Jones because I think you would want a more new age guy who is more athletic and can make more plays with his legs. But, okay then who is it? Justin Fields? Could be. Trey Lance? Probably not. I keep going back to Mac Jones though.”
Now onto that second question, and the future of Jimmy Garoppolo. According to Adam Schefter, the 49ers are not going to trade Garoppolo this offseason, and plan on entering 2021 with him as their starter, using the year as a redshirt opportunity for whomever they draft. Maiocco isn’t buy that at all.
“You’re not going to have a $25 million backup. To me if it’s even close between the new guy coming in and Jimmy Garoppolo, you move on from him. You can do that right up until the first game of the season. You can wait that long and then you trade him, and then if you have Gardner Minshew or somebody else that you’re comfortable with as a backup, you can cut him. To me, you don’t pay Jimmy Garoppolo that money this year if you’ve already decided he has no future with the organization, and it has nothing to do with this year as far as the cap.
“Remember, all the unused cap money rolls over. So all that money that you’re able to save with Garoppolo this year, that goes to Fred Warner, that goes toward Deebo Samuel, that goes toward Bosa, a lot of guys. It goes towards some of the guys they signed this year on one-year contracts who might perform well and warrant big deals next year. So to me, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if you have a rookie who can step in and be your guy, why give up that money to Garoppolo now, when you can set yourself up for the future, and then you have a quarterback who isn’t taking much cap space for the next four years. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
“And I don’t believe for a minute that they’ve decided they are not trading Jimmy Garoppolo. That would be ridiculous to think that. But I can see where they would put that out there publicly. And say, ‘Oh no, we love him, we think he’s a great quarterback. We think he’s so great, in fact, that you should give us two first-round draft picks for him.'”
Listen to the full interview below.