But as San Francisco heads into another offseason filled with quarterback uncertainty, coach Kyle Shanahan made it clear Wednesday that Garoppolo and the Niners will finally go their separate ways.
When asked if there was a scenario where he could see Garoppolo returning to San Francisco in 2023, Shanahan didn’t mince words.
“No, I don’t see a scenario for that,” Shanahan said.
Unlike last year when Garoppolo was still under contract and the Niners were trying to trade him, they don’t have such an agency this time. Garoppolo is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in March and the 49ers can’t use a tag to retain his rights.
Purdy’s first task is to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Purdy had another imaging session on his elbow Tuesday afternoon, and while no decision has yet been made as to whether he will have reconstruction (Tommy John surgery) or repair (InternalBrace procedure), general manager John Lynch indicated that things are going well tended toward the latter.
A repair would be good news as it would mean a shorter recovery for Purdy, which could see him back on the field just before training camp begins in late July or early August.
“The positive news is that it seems consistent that the right approach is the one that takes about that six-month point in time,” Lynch said. “Now everyone’s going to say you never know until you get in there, too. Any surgeon will tell you this at any surgery. They’re always happy to come in to take a close look… They’re continuing to work on that process, but we seem encouraged by the prognosis that it’s here.”
If Purdy elects to have the surgical repair reinforced with an InternalBrace to strengthen the ligament as it heals, he could begin his rehab as early as three months post-procedure with full release at six months.
“That was the coolest thing I’ve heard about it,” Shanahan said. “Once three months are up, they start rehab, just slowly build the arm back up, and by six months it’s full again.”
Lance said Tuesday he should be out of the hiker’s boot by the end of this week for his surgically repaired right ankle, with a chance of being cleared in time for organized team activities in May.
Shanahan indicated Wednesday that that schedule is possible, although Lance may not be doing as much in the parts of the offseason program before the OTAs start.
“It sounds like it’s going to be pretty close around Phase 1, Phase 2,” Shanahan said. “Hopefully we will introduce him to drilling and things like that and through OTAs he will be able to walk.”
As for how the quarterback situation will play out, Shanahan said Wednesday that he hasn’t given it much thought yet, noting that there isn’t much to discuss at the moment with only Lance available for pre-training camp work on the field will stand.
While Shanahan conceded that the Niners need to add another quarterback in some way, he didn’t sound like he and the 49ers were looking for a big name at the position.
“I know we have two starters on our team right now that I think we can win with,” said Shanahan. “So when you have that situation, you’re not so eager to look around.”
Among the other insights from Shanahan and Lynch at Wednesday’s season-ending press conference:
Despite persistent rumors that he could go to television or another job, Lynch said he intends to remain in his San Francisco role. “I plan to be here,” Lynch said. “I really do. I’m committed to doing this and I’m having a great time doing it and I’m committed to finding a way to be a little bit better.”
Tackle if left Trent Williams, 34, said Tuesday he has not finally closed the door on retiring this offseason. But Shanahan believes that was more due to Williams tiring at the end of a long season than any realistic chance he might actually quit. “I didn’t read his words because this is a big deal for him,” Shanahan said. “I know Trent loves football. I know it’s very difficult at his age, but in any situation, doing what you’re doing for so long and falling short. But I’d be surprised if Trent retires in a few weeks.”
On a looming contract extension to the defensive end Nick BosaLynch indicated that it will be similar to players like Linebacker Fred Warnerrecipient Debbo Samuel and tight end George Kittel, meaning a deal may not be finalized until closer to the start of training camp. “I think we have a really good track record,” Lynch said. “They have made sure to finish our players over the last five years. But it takes time, it takes patience, it takes perseverance and we will have that on our side.”