The San Francisco 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo parted ways nearly six months ago when the QB signed a three-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders, yet they can't avoid questions about one another.
The latest chapter in this increasingly lengthy book came Thursday, when Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked about Garoppolo's recent comments regarding the trade of Trey Lance to the Dallas Cowboys. Garoppolo hadn't said anything particularly inflammatory, but when asked he did say there have "been a lot of weird situations over there," which is a true statement.
Here's how Shanahan responded:
Kyle Shanahan fires back at Jimmy Garoppolo. pic.twitter.com/ufCiWvmRXS
— Grant Cohn (@grantcohn) August 30, 2023
"You know Jimmy, the comments are the comments," Shanahan said. "I'm really not concerned about his comments."
There's some deep history here. When the Niners traded for Garoppolo in 2017, he was their future. After an injury-spotted few years that nevertheless included a Super Bowl appearance and three overall trips to the playoffs, the Niners drafted Lance in 2021 with the intent that he was to be Garoppolo's replacement. Lance was named the starter in 2022 and the Niners signed Jimmy G to a one-year contract, which was a shrewd move because Lance went down with a season-ending injury in the second game of the season.
However, Garoppolo sustained his own season-ending injury a few games later, which is how the Niners ended up with Brock Purdy starting. And Purdy's emergence is what got Lance sent out of town.
Shanahan eventually addressed Garoppolo calling things "weird" by saying he agreed. Then, as if he suddenly realized he was agreeing with Jimmy G, he immediately backtracked, saying it wasn't weird but was "unusual," which is a synonym for weird.
"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."
Aside from his brain's internal battle between the words "weird" and "unusual," Shanahan was measured in his response. But it was noticeable that he commented on how "real" Lance is and how happy he is to see his former QB starting fresh in Dallas while saying nothing of the sort about Garoppolo. Sometimes, head coach language is like jazz. It's the notes they don't play.
49ers still working to extend Nick Bosa
Shanahan was less cagey when he spoke about DE Nick Bosa at the same presser. Bosa, a key part of the Niners defense, has been holding out for a contract extension, but one has yet to materialize. So all Shanahan could say is he very much wants the two parties to agree on a contract extension, while using a tone of voice that's starting to sound pretty desperate.
"I thought it would probably come at this time, just looking at the history of those things, and I'm really hoping it gets done. I know they're working tirelessly at it. [...] I'm hoping we can get him in here sooner than later."
The Niners begin their season on Sept. 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. That leaves the front office just over a week to work things out with Bosa's agent and make sure their star will be in Pennsylvania to start the 2023 season and not at home on his couch.