No. 4: Kyle Shanahan mismanaged 49ers’ offseason quarterback situation
Kyle Shanahan has wanted to move on from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for a while now. And even though the head coach has repeatedly offered his support for the veteran signal-caller since, there’s no shortage of evidence the Niners wanted to replace Garoppolo.
That’s all fine. Teams move on from quarterbacks all the time.
But it was the way Shanahan handled his situation, particularly the July 2021 appearance on Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay’s Flying Coach Podcast where Shanahan made it clear he was very much in on the attempts to trade for then-Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.
And by detailing those efforts and subsequently displaying his displeasure at the Rams being successful with the trade, Shanahan publicly threw Garoppolo under the bus, ultimately settling on the No. 3 overall NFL Draft selection of quarterback Trey Lance.
A lame-duck quarterback situation with Garoppolo also was mishandled, potentially leading to the division likely infused into San Francisco’s locker room right now.
The 49ers should have parted ways with Garoppolo right after grabbing Lance, perhaps even right after trading a slew of first-round picks to move up to No. 3 overall, perhaps signing a journeyman veteran to serve as Lance’s one-year mentor.
Instead, the Niners tried the same approach the Kansas City Chiefs had with then-quarterback Alex Smith over Patrick Mahomes in 2017.
Except for the fact that Garoppolo isn’t as successful as Smith was that season, and San Francisco has endured a massive circus as a result.