San Francisco 49ers

John Lynch addresses ‘49ers-could-trade-Garoppolo’ storyline

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch speaks during a press conference at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 2, 2017.
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch speaks during a press conference at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 2, 2017. AP

ESPN’s Adam Schefter caused a stir on Sunday when he wrote that Jimmy Garoppolo wasn’t necessarily the 49ers’ quarterback of the future and that they ultimately could “dangle him to the highest bidder in a trade.” Schefter, citing league sources, wrote that Garoppolo serves “as a placeholder at the position” while the two sides get to know one another.

He noted that with all the 49ers’ salary-cap space and their likely high draft pick, the team still could go after Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins in free agency or take a passer with their top pick.

Why trade a high second-round pick for someone they would move? General manager John Lynch was asked that during his regular spot on KNBR radio Friday with host Brian Murphy noting the crossed signals make it confusing for fans. Here’s Lynch’s reply:

Lynch: “I can tell you this: When that opportunity presented itself and Kyle (Shanahan) and I started talking about it, like I said from the beginning, it was about 10 minutes in that we said, ‘This is a no-brainer. This is something we have to do.’ Because, No. 1, we’re huge believers in Jimmy Garoppolo and his ability to be a franchise quarterback, so much so that we inquired throughout this last offseason and was quickly shut down by Bill Belichick. But we did inquire as to his availability. And so we’re huge believers in what he brings to the table. And I can’t speak for Adam, but I will say that during the conversations that Kyle and I had, and then you bring Paraag (Marathe) in, and you start going through all the reasons why it’s a good idea. And for that alone it was a great idea for us. But at the end, as kind of a throwaway, (we) said, ‘Lookit, if all you’re doing is acquiring a chip that a lot of people see valuable, then it’s a good deal for that.’ But what I think was clear and what needs to be communicated to our fan base is that we have great belief (in Garoppolo) and that’s only been strengthened in the week that he’s been here because he does special things on the practice field and he does some special things in the meeting room. Is there some unknowns? He hasn’t played a ton of football. Yeah, we’re fully aware of that. But we feel, and I think a lot of people feel, throughout this league feel, that we got a tremendous deal on a guy that has all the makings of a franchise quarterback. We’re thrilled to have him and that’s what Jimmy Garoppolo is to us.”

Is he concerned there was a leak to Schefter?

Lynch: “I’m pretty confident on this one that this one wasn’t from us. Schefter did … you know, these guys are unbelievable. He had the story early. Kyle and I are down there, and the next thing you know he’s on the line. So there was communication, but I can tell you what’s important is what we believe. And we believe Jimmy Garoppolo is going to be our guy…”

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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