Owners, coaches and general managers across the league have descended upon Palm Beach, Fla. for the NFL's Annual League Meeting. Kyle Shanahan, John Lynch and Jed York are all on hand for the four-day event that includes discussions about potential changes to NFL rules and policies both on and off the field.
As for the San Francisco 49ers, the focus was on the team's offseason moves and some that have yet to be made.
It was projected that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had played his final snap in San Francisco with the expectation of a trade heading into the start of the new league year. Instead, the vast majority of quarterback-needy teams filled their voids through the first two weeks of free agency, seemingly leaving the veteran on San Francisco's roster heading into the 2022 season.
Garoppolo underwent a procedure on his throwing shoulder approximately 37 days after the close of the 49ers 2021 campaign. His timeline of returning in the summer reportedly became a concern for a number of teams heading into offseason programs which, for some, are scheduled to begin as early as next week.
As San Francisco begins turning the page to a new season, the team isn't sweating the fact of having two starting quarterbacks on their roster. Garoppolo's first-round heir-apparent, Trey Lance, is expected to enter his first season as an NFL starter. However, the idea of Garoppolo still being a member of the 49ers in September isn't too farfetched of an idea either.
"That's why we looked into trading Jimmy," Shanahan said to the media on Tuesday. "We obviously believe that Trey can be a starter and we're ready to do that. But… we're not just going to get rid of a good quarterback because we have other quarterbacks on the roster. Quarterbacks are really hard to come by and some teams don't have any at all. The fact that we have three that we're happy with, it is a good thing.
"Jimmy's done a great job for us. We brought Trey here to be that eventually. And I think that'll be sooner than later. But when Jimmy gets a surgery, we can't upgrade our team by getting some good picks until people feel good about that. I'm alright with that. We're not just getting rid of him to get rid of him. Jimmy is a good player that we all really like as a person and as a teammate, and we're going to wait to see whatever helps the Niners the most."
Contrary to last year, Lance is expected to see the lion's share of snaps under center alongside backup Nate Sudfeld during the team's offseason program, scheduled to begin on April 18. Garoppolo isn't expected to be available during the start of OTAs as his timetable has the quarterback likely to return by the start of training camp later this summer. But once the calendar does turn to July, the 49ers will have tough decisions to make when it comes to supporting Lance's development as the soon-to-be incumbent starter and where the seasoned signal caller land to get meaningful reps in training camp.
With four months to go, Shanahan and Co. haven't confronted that conundrum just yet. But whatever decision is made the team anticipates the "competition" to benefit all parties involved once again.
"I definitely haven't gotten that far, but yeah, I would figure that out to be something," Shanahan continued. "Jimmy's a good quarterback. So that's not easy for anyone to beat out and that was tough. Trey wasn't ready to beat him out last year. We'll be definitely closer to that this year if it happens, but it's something that we won't have to worry about until training camp and usually when you have a situation like that it makes everyone better anyways."