SF 49ers: Post-free agency 53-man roster projection
SF 49ers Quarterbacks (3)
2021 NFL Draft pick
For the time being, the starting quarterback for San Francisco remains Jimmy Garoppolo, and there’s almost nothing, short of a massive and unexpected trade, that will likely change that for the 2021 season.
The only other direction would be if the team makes another big, unexpected move: trading up into the top-three in the NFL Draft in order to take the quarterback the Jacksonville Jaguars and NY Jets choose not to take, likely either Ohio State’s Justin Fields or North Dakota State’s Trey Lance.
In that case, there’s a small chance the team could opt to move on from Garoppolo and let Fields or Lance sink or swim in year one. But given the Niners wouldn’t need to move on from Garoppolo even with a top-three draft pick in tow, you should expect the starter to remain.
The team’s brass, especially general manager John Lynch, has talked a lot about improving the backup quarterback situation. And while the team did visit with veteran free-agent QB Joe Flacco last week, there are other teams interested in him, too. So adding a veteran at that position, given the team’s salary cap situation, isn’t a foregone conclusion either.
The best guess at this point is Garoppolo remains the starter, but the SF 49ers draft someone to learn and develop, also keeping the former Arizona Cardinals’ first-round draft pick, Josh Rosen, around in case of an emergency and as a potential backup down the line.
A lot is riding on 2021 for Garoppolo, and at the moment, it appears he’ll be given the opportunity to show he can be a long-term answer.
Otherwise, it may be his last season in San Francisco.