49ers depth chart: Quarterback shakeups behind Jimmy Garoppolo?

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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C.J. Beathard, Nick Mullens, 49ers
C.J. Beathard #3 and Nick Mullens #4 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

What do the 49ers change at quarterback in 2020 then?

Much of this hinges on whether or not Kyle Shanahan wants to keep three quarterbacks on his 53-man roster again in 2020.

San Francisco dealt with a ton of injuries in 2019, and one can assume Shanahan would want to free up that extra roster spot to guard against attrition elsewhere at other positions where injuries are more common.

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Perhaps, but who stays and who goes?

Nick Mullens signed his exclusive-rights tender this offseason, and he’ll be a restricted free agent in 2021. The 49ers could still keep him, but the quarterback market could vastly shift between now and then. One always has to assume the Niners would accept the offer they simply couldn’t refuse.

Until then, however, it looks as if C.J. Beathard could be the odd man out here. A fourth-year player no longer boasting practice squad eligibility, Beathard enters the final year of his rookie deal and would cost the 49ers only $176,572 in dead money if cut.

Considering Beathard is scheduled to make nearly $1 million — a lot of money for a third-string quarterback — it’s hard to imagine Shanahan’s loyalty would win out here.

Broc Rutter is an X-factor, too, potentially as that developmental option to potentially replace Beathard as the No. 3 choice. And by keeping him on the practice squad, or at best as the third signal-caller on the 53-man roster, the Niners wouldn’t have to commit that kind of money towards Beathard.

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Of course, there could be the possibility of San Francisco moving Mullens for a day-two draft pick between now and Week 1, pushing Beathard up the depth chart and ensuring Rutter’s development becomes a priority.

For now, though, it looks like Beathard will be part of what could be a notable shakeup behind Jimmy Garoppolo.