SF 49ers: 3 bridge quarterbacks to replace Jimmy Garoppolo in 2021
By Peter Panacy
The SF 49ers may or may not move on from Jimmy Garoppolo in 2021. If they do, who might be some bridge quarterbacks to cover next season?
As the 4-5 SF 49ers struggle to get back into the playoff picture just over halfway through 2020, the biggest question on the fanbase’s mind is whether or not head coach Kyle Shanahan fully commits to keeping quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo under center into next year.
Moving on makes a lot of sense. As ESPN’s Steve Young pointed out, Garoppolo is handcuffing Shanahan’s abilities to fully expand his offense to its maximum potential.
And with a 2021 salary cap hit of $26.9 million, the Niners could ultimately cut the quarterback and save $24.1 million of that, which could then be used to lock up other players of note or even go after a high-profile signal-caller by the way of a trade or something of that nature.
The problem, though, is a number of those high-profile quarterbacks — the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, the Minnesota Vikings’ Kirk Cousins or the Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan — are still under contract with their respective teams, and it’s anyone’s guess whether or not they’ll be made available this offseason.
Even if they are, it’ll be tough for Shanahan and the SF 49ers to absorb their notably large contract numbers.
All are making more than Garoppolo on an average-annual basis anyway.
Should the Niners move on from Jimmy G, and there are plenty of reasons why they won’t, it’ll likely prompt the team towards grabbing someone in the 2021 NFL Draft. But that could necessitate some sort of low-cost “bridge” option to hold the line between the start of next season and whenever a rookie quarterback would be ready to assume the No. 1 role in Shanahan’s offense.
Here are three veteran bridge options who are likable candidates for San Francisco next year.