Make no mistake, college football is not the only level of the game with a recruiting process. Each March, NFL general managers spend hours stating their case to potential free-agent signees in the hopes of enlisting their talents.
So what was the sales pitch that helped the San Francisco 49ers land
“Kyle Shanahan,” the veteran receiver said, smiling. “That’s it. Kyle Shanahan was the sales pitch.”
Garçon is very familiar with his new head coach. They spent two seasons together with the Washington Redskins from 2012-13 while Shanahan served as the team’s offensive coordinator. Garçon thrived in Shanahan’s scheme, leading the NFL with 113 receptions in 2013.
Now, the two reunite in San Francisco to help turn things around for the league’s 31st-ranked offense in 2016. Garçon is likely to enter the 2017 season as the 49ers top receiving option. He’ll certainly be the most experienced with 564 career receptions, 7,068 yards and 37 touchdowns.
Part of his admiration for Shanahan, Garçon explained, is because the coach is a former player himself. Shanahan played wide receiver in college at the University of Texas.
This is only the third time Garçon has had a change of scenery over his nine-year career. He spent his first four seasons with the Indianapolis Colts before spending the last five in Washington.
The West Palm Beach, Fla., native is eager to begin a new chapter in the Bay Area.
“I’m just very excited,” Garçon said. “It’s a new part of the country, which gives you new energy. I’ve never lived out on the West Coast. I’ve got a lot of friends out here, and so I’m looking forward to it. New beginnings always give you new energy to prepare, to be happy, to show your worth and to show your value.”
Garçon was introduced to 49ers fans at a press conference featuring six other free-agent additions, all of whom are building blocks of Shanahan’s vision for the team.
“Guys always want to be here in San Francisco with the history that is here, the location and the weather,” Garçon said. “With Kyle here, that just tips the scales.”