Most teams acquire an exciting new player, and they can’t wait to get him out on the field. You can’t accuse the San Francisco 49ers of impatience.
On Oct. 30, the 49ers traded for New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. We’re going to make it through November without Garoppolo getting his first 49ers start. 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday that rookie C.J. Beathard will start again this week, as Garoppolo waits his turn.
It seems like Garoppolo’s 49ers debut might be getting closer. Shanahan said he considered the decision through the 49ers’ bye last week all the way into Monday, but went with Beathard because Garoppolo isn’t entirely ready and Beathard played well in San Francisco’s last game, a win over the New York Giants.
“Jimmy gets more and more ready each week,” Shanahan said in his Wednesday press conference, via Can Inman of the Bay Area News Group. “Is Jimmy going to be the best he can? To me, that’s impossible. He hasn’t been here long enough.
“I don’t think we’re going to see Jimmy’s best football, to be fair to him, until next year. That’s what guys need. But C.J. did play his best football last week, which definitely made the decision easier.”
It’s an unusual situation, because Garoppolo will be with the 49ers for a month at least and not get a start. Beathard might be coming off his best game, but the 49ers didn’t give up a second-round pick for Garoppolo for him to be Beathard’s long-time backup. Garoppolo is the quarterback of the future (whether that future is in San Francisco … we’ll touch on that in a moment). But there are good reasons for Garoppolo to sit, although it seems odd. The 49ers are 1-9 and as long as 0-16 is off the table, there’s no reason to force any move. If Garoppolo isn’t fully functional in a new offense, there’s no need to rush anything. You’d think Garoppolo, who was in a complex offense in New England, wouldn’t need too much time to get into a game, but it is a brand new scheme for him. The 49ers would presumably like for Garoppolo to get some playing time in Shanahan’s offense before the offseason, however.
That is, unless the 49ers have another move in mind. There was speculation after the trade that the 49ers won’t sign Garoppolo to a long-term deal when he becomes a free agent next offseason, but trade him instead. The speculation then included Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, who can also become a free agent next offseason (if Washington doesn’t franchise tag him again). If the 49ers are keeping Garoppolo off the field because they have another move in mind, that would be interesting. It’s also hard to believe, but the entire situation has been unusual so far. Who knows.
Whatever the reason, Garoppolo continues to sit. The 49ers will be a lot more intriguing once Garoppolo plays, but the team seems to be in no rush for that.
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