The San Francisco 49ers are coming off their Week 11 bye. While many thought this week off was just the opportunity for Kyle Shanahan and company to incorporate their latest addition on offense, recent interviews of the head coach tell a different story.
Wednesday is typically the media day that includes conversations with the starting quarterback, so it may shed some light on the issue. On Tuesday, general manager John Lynch spoke to the media. He praised current starting quarterback C.J. Beathard’s performance in the Week 10 game against the New York Giants.
It seems like Beathard’s performance may be the main reason that Lynch was ambivalent about the plan to implement the former New England Patriots back-up quarterback in the 49ers’ offense. However, if Beathard’s performance were such a determining factor, then a second round pick in next year’s draft seems like a tall price to pay.
Lynch remarked that he would defer to the head coach on the final decision to start Garoppolo or not. Above all other things, the 49ers have proven noncommittal to their Garoppolo decision.
Whether or not this will prove to be in the best interest of the 49ers is yet to be known. The 49ers may want to reconsider starting the former Eastern Illinois product, for several reasons.
First, there is the simple fact Garoppolo is not ready. If he was ready, there would be no wait. As of now, the team is still working Beathard with the first-string offense. It is possible that they could rush him onto the field, seeing as how they made the move from Brian Hoyer to Beathard relatively quickly. However, they are currently 1-9; there’s no reason for Garoppolo to hit the field.
That said, not only is there no real opportunity at playoffs, but the 49ers are actually better served losing throughout the season. After the NY Giants pulled off the upset win against the Kansas City Chiefs, the 49ers are now on pace to finish with the second worst record.
Having the second worst record in the league would create a lot of options in San Francisco when it comes time to draft in 2018. Why would the 49ers compromise that position by starting Garoppolo with no real chance at putting together a playoff run? Better to hold onto him, and be competitive for the future.
Finally, in that respect, why would they compromise their only bargaining chip for the future by playing Garoppolo? That bargaining chip ncertainty.
Garoppolo has such a meager sample size that he is like Schrodinger’s quarterback: both capable and incapable at the same time, until we see otherwise. They can sell him in the trade market for his potential, while still bringing the unknown quantity argument to the negotiating table if they try to resign him.
In the end, all the 49ers can hope is that this yet unknown quantity at quarterback does not require too much of a commitment before they feel comfortable that he really is their guy. A longtime problem in the organization has been noncommittal habits that hurt their longtime success.
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