The San Francisco 49ers have a collection of talent that many pundits consider among the best in the National Football League.
But the big news surrounding the team is what will happen at the quarterback position.
At least one reason why could be San Francisco’s asking price in a potential trade.
The 49ers are holding on to Jimmy Garoppolo for picks that won’t help them make a super bowl run instead of clearing 25 million to give their young QB the best supporting cast possible
— #Alex (@SadNinersFan_) March 18, 2022
Head coach Kyle Shanahan, the son of former 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Shanahan, seems to have a secure job right now.
But what could hypothetically put him on the hot seat this coming season?
Shanahan Has Already Been On The Hot Seat
The 2021 season was a rocky one for the 49ers.
The team was hit by key injuries for the second year in a row, and they started the campaign 2-4.
That’s when rumors started to circulate that the team was thinking of firing Shanahan.
Never mind that he had coached them to the Super Bowl and got them within minutes of a world championship just two years ago; his job was reportedly in real jeopardy.
If it’s true that no one was ever really interested in Jimmy Garoppolo, than the 49ers holding onto makes no sense to me. If the Niners overplayed their hand they can think that offer might come back with an injury, but if all those offers were fiction than they need to cut him. https://t.co/i6gUPYl2I7
— Marc Delucchi (@maddelucchi) March 24, 2022
But to his credit, he got San Francisco back on the right track.
They won seven of the last nine games, including a thrilling overtime win on the road against the mighty Los Angeles Rams to finish 10-7 and secure a playoff spot.
Once in the postseason, the run continued, as the Niners defeated the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers, two teams that many picked to beat San Fran.
Shanahan is regarded as a great offensive mind, and surely he deserves some credit for Samuel’s breakout season, as well as the emergence of rookie running back Elijah Mitchell, who filled in ably for the injured Raheem Mostert.
But when a team such as the 49ers has championship aspirations, and the team is falling short of such expectations, its head coach is often the first causality.
Shanahan did show some shortcomings, both in terms of play-calling and overall performance on offense.
His team finished just 13th in points scored despite ranking seventh in total yards gained, which is disappointing given all of the weapons.
But, at least hypothetically, one thing above all could put him on the hot seat again.
Jimmy G Or Lance?
If Garoppolo is indeed on the Niners’ roster when the 2022 regular season begins, Shanahan will have to manage a potentially messy and complicated situation.
Lance needs reps so that he can develop and fail faster so that he can succeed faster, but Shanahan should protect him from the types of failures that could tarnish his confidence or even threaten his health, should he take some additional hits that he doesn’t have to take.
It is imperative that Shanahan be on the same page as general manager John Lynch when it comes to what to do with the QB position, should Garoppolo still be donning a 49ers uniform.
If, for example, Shanahan is told to play Lance more, but he goes with Garoppolo too much for whatever reason, that could perhaps bring the coach closer to getting a pink slip.
The Niners have been through this quarterback controversy stuff before, and each time they ended up at least returning to the Super Bowl.
What will happen this time?