Kyle Shanahan

49ers Expected Commanders To Trade For Jimmy Garoppolo; Browns Were Interested In FA Deal

Compared to the offseasons leading up to the 2020s, this decade has brought more movement among veteran quarterbacks. While the 49ers are now grateful their efforts to become part of this year’s action-packed QB carousel failed, as Trey Lance is out for the season, they expected Jimmy Garoppolo to end up somewhere else.

John Lynch has said he was talking to multiple teams at the Combine about moving the longtime San Francisco QB1. One of those appears to be the Commanders. During the initial part of Garoppolo’s complex year, before his shoulder surgery, the 49ers believed the Commanders would be the team that traded for the ninth-year passer, according to Tim Keown and Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com. Indeed, fellow ESPN scribe Adam Schefter reports that San Francisco and Washington had the parameters of a deal in place, a deal that would have involved multiple draft picks.

With Ron Rivera indicating the Commanders were pursuing several veteran QBs this offseason — one that included a three-first-rounder offer for Russell Wilson — it was already clear that Garoppolo was on the team’s radar. But the March shoulder surgery — a procedure Garoppolo’s camp believed he could avoid — changed everything, leading to a months-long market standstill. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reiterates the Commanders’ interest in Garoppolo, and he adds that the Colts were involved as well. That jibes with RapSheet’s reporting from earlier this year, though other reports indicated Indy was not particularly serious.

Regardless, teams were plainly concerned about Garoppolo’s timetable and his willingness to accept a pay cut, Jeff Howe of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Shortly after it became known Garoppolo would undergo shoulder surgery, the Colts swung a deal for Matt Ryan and Washington moved on to Carson Wentz, acquiring the former No. 2 overall pick for two Day 2 draft choices and a 2022 second-round pick swap.

Such a haul would have been a value coup for the 49ers, who were staring at the prospect of releasing Garoppolo. But the 49ers’ Super Bowl hopes again hinge on their injury-hounded starter remaining available. Garoppolo’s 2018 ACL tear did not appear to derail a Super Bowl threat, but his 2020 ankle malady certainly hurt one. The 30-year-old passer’s three injuries last season (calf, thumb, shoulder) limited him at points, with the latter two issues plaguing him in the playoffs.

It was right in the middle of training camp, [Kyle Shanahan] kind of just called me in one day and threw out the idea, and it really wasn’t even on my radar until he said something about it,” Garoppolo said of the team’s offer to bring him back on a restructured deal, via Albert Breer of SI.com. “And then he kind of laid it out and obviously the restructure is what it is, I think it had to be done just with the situation. I know it sounds weird, but things kind of just fell into place, honestly. It wasn’t like I was planning on this happening or anything.

… I mean, honestly, at one point, I didn’t think I was going to be a Niner. I was pretty set on going to a couple different teams I had in mind. And then all of a sudden things switched last second.”

Lynch initially approached Shanahan about circling back to Garoppolo, according to ESPN, but the sixth-year HC did not expect Garoppolo to accept a backup role or a restructure that reduced his salary. Garoppolo was set to make $24.2MM in base salary; that number is down to $6.5MM. But the incentive package that can move the deal to $15.45MM has already begun paying out. Garoppolo receives $250K for each game in which he takes at least 25% of the offensive snaps. Each game in which that snap threshold is met and the 49ers win produces another $100K.

Had the restructure not occurred and a Garoppolo release took place, ESPN adds the Browns were prepared to explore a free agency addition. Conflicting reports emerged about Cleveland’s interest in adding Garoppolo as a better Deshaun Watson fill-in option, with the five-game add-on to the new Browns starter’s suspension igniting these rumors. Although the 49ers gave other teams permission to negotiate a revised deal with Garoppolo, the Browns joined the rest of the NFL in being unwilling to part with assets for him. The Rams were interested in a possible Garoppolo free agency deal; the Seahawks were also believed to be interested in such an agreement. Instead, Garoppolo re-emerged to lead the 49ers to a one-sided win over Seattle.

Jacoby Brissett will be asked to complete the 11-game bridge to Watson, while Wentz is still on the Eagles extension he signed in 2019. The Commanders have him signed through 2024, though no guaranteed money is on the deal beyond this season. Garoppolo is on track for free agency in 2023.

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured Head Coaches

The NFL experienced a busy offseason on the coaching front. A whopping 10 teams changed coaches during the 2022 offseason, with the Buccaneers’ late-March switch pushing the number into double digits.

Fourteen of the league’s 32 head coaches were hired in the past two offseasons, illustrating the increased pressure the NFL’s sideline leaders face in today’s game. Two of the coaches replaced this year left on their own. Sean Payton vacated his spot in second on the longest-tenured HCs list by stepping down from his 16-year Saints post in February, while Bruce Arians has repeatedly insisted his Bucs exit was about giving his defensive coordinator a chance with a strong roster and not a Tom Brady post-retirement power play.

While Bill Belichick has been the league’s longest-tenured HC for many years, Payton’s exit moved Mike Tomlin up to No. 2. Mike Zimmer‘s firing after nine seasons moved Frank Reich into the top 10. Reich’s HC opportunity only came about because Josh McDaniels spurned the Colts in 2018, but Indianapolis’ backup plan has led the team to two playoff brackets and has signed an extension. Reich’s seat is hotter in 2022, however, after a January collapse. Linked to numerous HC jobs over the past several offseasons, McDaniels finally took another swing after his Broncos tenure ended quickly.

As 2022’s training camps approach, here are the NFL’s longest-tenured HCs:

  1. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000
  2. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 27, 2007; extended through 2024
  3. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008; extended through 2025
  4. Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks): January 9, 2010; extended through 2025
  5. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013; extended through 2025
  6. Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills): January 11, 2017; extended through 2025
  7. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): January 12, 2017; extended through 2023
  8. Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers): February 6, 2017; extended through 2025
  9. Mike Vrabel (Tennessee Titans): January 20, 2018; signed extension in February 2022
  10. Frank Reich (Indianapolis Colts): February 11, 2018; extended through 2026
  11. Kliff Kingsbury (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2019; extended through 2027
  12. Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers): January 8, 2019
  13. Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals): February 4, 2019; extended through 2026
  14. Ron Rivera (Washington Football Team): January 1, 2020
  15. Matt Rhule (Carolina Panthers): January 7, 2020
  16. Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys): January 7, 2020
  17. Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2020
  18. Robert Saleh (New York Jets): January 15, 2021
  19. Arthur Smith (Atlanta Falcons): January 15, 2021
  20. Brandon Staley (Los Angeles Chargers): January 17, 2021
  21. Dan Campbell (Detroit Lions): January 20, 2021
  22. Nick Sirianni (Philadelphia Eagles): January 21, 2021
  23. Nathaniel Hackett (Denver Broncos): January 27, 2022
  24. Matt Eberflus (Chicago Bears): January 27, 2022
  25. Brian Daboll (New York Giants): January 28, 2022
  26. Josh McDaniels (Las Vegas Raiders): January 30, 2022
  27. Kevin O’Connell (Minnesota Vikings): February 2, 2022
  28. Doug Pederson (Jacksonville Jaguars): February 3, 2022
  29. Mike McDaniel (Miami Dolphins): February 6, 2022
  30. Dennis Allen (New Orleans Saints): February 7, 2022
  31. Lovie Smith (Houston Texans): February 7, 2022
  32. Todd Bowles (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): March 30, 2022

John Lynch Addresses Decision To Turn Down Amazon Offer

John Lynch came out of nowhere, at least regarding a personnel background, to become the 49ers’ general manager in 2017. The Hall of Fame safety had spent most of the previous decade as a FOX analyst. Amid a run of NFL broadcast-booth changes this offseason, Amazon presented Lynch a lucrative offer to return to the booth.

The sixth-year San Francisco GM turned down Amazon’s offer — one reportedly worth far more than his GM salary — to stay with the 49ers. He decided to do so shortly after the team’s season-ending loss to the Rams.

Kyle [Shanahan] asked me to address the team, and that’s when the clarity really came to me because I didn’t know,” Lynch said, via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, regarding how he would proceed with Amazon. “I wasn’t going to address it [the job offer] until after the season.

I looked at myself and said, ‘How do I sit up here and address these guys and talk about having the fortitude to fight through the pain of losing a game like this and then turn around and bolt on them?’ I couldn’t do it. I knew right then what I was going to do. I’m happy to be a part of the Niners.”

During a historically unstable period in which the 49ers went through four head coaches in four years, Shanahan took the reins in 2017. Lynch came in soon after. Both received six-year contracts. The 49ers showed patience in the duo, which struggled during a two-year stretch largely spent without a viable starting quarterback, and it paid off when the 2019 team made a surprise Super Bowl LIV run. Shanahan and Lynch signed extensions in 2020, and the 2021 season put the team back on track.

Shanahan and 49ers CEO Jed York advised Lynch to listen to Amazon’s offer. The 50-year-old exec spent nine seasons in the booth, working with FOX from 2008-16. Three years remain on Lynch’s 49ers extension, with this year — which is expected to feature a Jimmy Garoppolo trade and Trey Lance‘s ascension — being a key point on the Shanahan-Lynch regime’s timeline.

It’s silly. It’s stupid. It really is,” Lynch said. “When Amazon came and started talking to me, I said, ‘You want to pay me what? Are you serious? Are you sure?‘”

The winning coach from that NFC title game, Sean McVay, also had to fend off network interest during an offseason that has seen FOX, NBC and ESPN’s top broadcast teams broken up. Amazon played a role in this, with longtime NBC play-by-play man Al Michaels signing on with the league’s newest broadcast partner. Amazon, which has Kirk Herbstreit set to work with Michaels, will air Thursday-night games this season. Given the money being thrown around to top-tier announcers following Tony Romo‘s CBS extension, active coaches, execs and players will likely continue to be linked to TV gigs.

Latest On 49ers’ Offensive Line Situation

Last year saw the 49ers advance to their second NFC Championship game in the last three years, but the offensive line that took them there is set to look a bit different as San Francisco readies for the 2022 NFL season. The 49ers’ left guard for the last five seasons, Laken Tomlinson, is now a Jet, Tom Compton, who started seven regular season games and all three playoff games at right tackle for the team when Mike McGlinchey went down with an injury last year, is now in Denver, and last year’s starting center, Alex Mack, officially announced his retirement this week. 

San Francisco should be set at left tackle and right guard with 12-year veteran Trent Williams manning the blindside and Daniel Brunskill starting just right of center for the past two seasons. Though Compton, who played well in his time as an injury-replacement last year, is gone, the 49ers do return McGlinchey from injury to fill the right tackle spot. McGlinchey is heading into a contract year and will try to earn himself a solid second deal with his production this season. He’s been strong while run-blocking in his career, but started off with some struggles in pass-protection. McGlinchey was showing some improvement in his pass-pro before his injury last season, and the 49ers will likely give him a chance to show he can be the whole package.

With those three spots manned, the conversation now turns to left guard and center. The favorite to fill in at left guard is 2021 second-round draft pick Aaron Banks. Banks was slowed in his rookie-season by a preseason shoulder injury, leading to him appearing in nine games but only seeing five offensive snaps last season, getting most of his playing time on special teams. McGlinchey’s former-teammate at Notre Dame made tremendous progress throughout the season, though. Head coach Kyle Shanahan even said that Banks could have replaced Brunskill in the lineup late last season, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. The team held off on making that switch as they surged into the postseason with plenty of success, but with an opening at guard this year, it’s hard to imagine Banks not getting his opportunity.

At center, the options are much less clear-cut. With Mack gone, the only player on the roster with an NFL start at center is former undrafted free agent Jake Brendel, who started three games for the Dolphins in 2018. Brendel has been taking first-team snaps at center in practices, according to another article from Branch. General manager John Lynch claims that the team has “a lot of confidence in (Brendel’s) ability,” despite Brendel not being “a household name.” The 49ers also brought in their own undrafted rookie this year in Dohnovan West, who was Arizona State’s starting center all three years of his collegiate career.

Unless San Francisco plans to try some other rostered offensive line reserves at center this year, they may need to go to the free agent market. This would continue a trend that Lynch and the Niners have followed over the past few years of signing an impact free agent interior lineman in the weeks after the Draft. 2017 saw the addition of eventual starting right guard Brandon Fusco in early May, 2018 saw the addition of eventual starting right guard Michael Person in early May, and 2019 saw the addition of part-time starting center Ben Garland in late April.

Available free agent centers include NFLPA president J.C. Tretter, former Broncos and Panthers center Matt Paradis, former Bengals starting center Trey Hopkins, and former Texans lineman Nick Martin. Lynch may mean what he says and Brendel may be their man in the middle, but it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see the 49ers act on some of the available experience out there on the market.

With three spots filled with experienced starters and two very real options to fill the other two spots, San Francisco is on their way to building their offensive line for next season. Whether the five lineman running with the first team now will be the Week 1 starters is yet to be seen, but Lynch and Shanahan are aware of their options and may not be done addressing the position group just yet.

NFC Coaching Notes: 49ers, Rams, Vikings, Giants

Kyle Shanahan has had to deal with quite a bit of turnover on his coaching staff this offseason. One of the most notable additions was made last night, however. According to his (now former) ESPN colleague Adam Schefter, San Francisco has brought in Brian Griese to become the team’s new quarterbacks coach (Twitter link).

This marks the first time the 46-year-old will hold a coaching role at the college or NFL level. He had followed in his father’s footsteps in terms of transitioning from a playing career to the broadcast booth. He initially joined ESPN’s college crew, before being brought on to the Monday Night Football broadcast team in 2020. That followed an 11-year career in the NFL, including five seasons with the Broncos where he won a Super Bowl as John Elway’ s backup.

The former Rose Bowl MVP will replace Rich Scangarello, who left the Bay Area to become the offensive coordinator at Kentucky. His first season on the sidelines will be an important one, with the team expected to transition to Trey Lance as their new starting QB. How quickly he meshes with Shanahan – who was on the Bucs’ staff when Griese played in Tampa – will be critical to the team’s success in 2022.

Here are some other notes from the NFC:

  • Before hiring Griese, San Francisco interviewed ex-Bears QBs coach John Defilippo “and a few others”, according to Sirius XM’s Adam Caplan (Twitter link). In related 49ers’ news, running backs coach Bobby Turner will take this season off to rehab from two surgeries. However, the 72-year-old intends to return in 2023, tweets David Lombardi of The Athletic.
  • Staying in the NFC West, Rams assistant head coach Thomas Brown will transition from coaching running backs to tight ends, per Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic (Twitter link). He will be a valuable staffer for Sean McVay, who has also lost a number of assistants in 2022; Brown will hire his replacement.
  • The Vikings have announced several additions to their staff, as noted by Chris Tomasson of The St. Paul Pioneer Press (on Twitter). Among them are Tony Sorrentino as an assistant WRs coach, Derron Montgomery as an offensive quality control coach and Ryan Cordell as a passing game specialist. On the defense side of the ball, the Vikings are bringing in A’Lique Terry to assist on the defensive line, as well as Steve Donatell – the son of new DC Ed Donatell – as a defensive quality control coach.
  • The Giants have hired Angela Baker to be an offensive quality control coach, per a team announcement. She is the first recipient of the Rosie Brown Minority Coaching Fellowship, and joins Laura Young as the other woman on the team’s staff.

NFC Coaching Notes: Vikings, 49ers, Rams, Falcons

The Vikings have already provided new head coach Kevin O’Connell with an experienced defensive coordinator in Ed Donatell. They are moving towards adding another veteran defensive mind, as Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson reports that they are expected to hire Greg Manusky as their new linebackers coach.

[Related: Vikings Hire Ed Donatell As DC]

Manusky, 55, was most recently a defensive quality control assistant at Kentucky, a post he’d held for two seasons. Before that, though, he had spent two decades on NFL sidelines. Two years after his playing days were over, he joined Washington’s staff in the same LBs coach role he is set to take on again. He held that same title in San Diego for five years, which set him up for his first defensive coordinator position.

Manusky took over as the 49ers’ DC in 2007, and remained there until he returned to the Chargers to call their defense for one season. His third DC post came with the Colts, spanning another four years. Not long after he returned to Washington as their OLBs coach, he was promoted to DC in 2017, staying there for three campaigns.

Here are some other coaching notes from the NFC:

  • Sticking with Kentucky, the Wildcats are hiring 49ers quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello to be their new offensive coordinator (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero). That role opened up when Liam Coen took the Rams’ OC job earlier this week. The news continues a significant exodus of coaches from Kyle Shanahan’s staff this offseason, the most notable being former OC Mike McDaniel becoming the new HC of the Dolphins.
  • The Rams are keeping a key member of their defensive staff in place. Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic tweets that defensive line coach Eric Henderson has been extended. His contract was set to expire at the end of the 2022 season, but he will be staying put in L.A., keeping one of the league’s best at that position group in place.
  • Lastly, Pelissero’s colleague Mike Garafolo reports that Shawn Flaherty is joining the Falcons’ staff (Twitter link). The son of Pat Flaherty, he had spent the first three years of his NFL coaching career as an assistant o-line coach in Miami.

Dolphins Hire Mike McDaniel As Head Coach

The Dolphins have announced that they’ve agreed to terms to make 49ers’ offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel their next head coach (Twitter).

McDaniel recently had his second interview with Miami on Friday. Fox Sports Writer Peter Schrager reported that the interview lasted for 10 hours.
McDaniel was one of two candidates to receive a second interview with the Dolphins as Cowboys’ offensive coordinator Kellen Moore interviewed yesterday. With Moore not getting the job, it looks like Dallas will keep both coordinators as Moore has not been mentioned as a contender for the Saints’ or Texans’ jobs and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has informed teams that he is remaining in Dallas.

McDaniel is a longtime Kyle Shanahan-staffer, following Shanahan from Atlanta to San Francisco. Following Mike LaFleur‘s departure to join Robert Saleh on the Jets, McDaniel was promoted to offensive coordinator.

The 2021 NFL season was McDaniel’s first and only year as an offensive coordinator at any level. He first entered the NFL as an intern for the Broncos in 2004. He spent three years as an offensive assistant in Houston before taking the position of running backs coach for Sacramento’s short-lived UFL team. McDaniel re-entered the NFL ranks an an offensive assistant in Washington for two years before getting promoted to wide receivers coach. He spent one season in that position in Washington followed by a season holding the same position in Cleveland before heading to Atlanta to become an offensive assistant under Shanahan.

The 38-year-old’s rise has been meteoric since joining Shanahan. After two years in Atlanta, McDaniel became Shanahan’s run game coordinator in San Francisco for four seasons before finally getting his shot last year at offensive coordinator. McDaniel didn’t call plays for the 49ers, but he did draw up the running plays and coordinate a running game that ranked in the top-10 despite losing Raheem Mostert in Week 1 and missing Elijah Mitchell for 6 games this year.

With Brian Flores‘ lawsuit against the NFL, Dolphins, Giants, and Broncos alleging racial discrimination, much attention will likely be paid to the fact that McDaniel identifies as multiracial, making him the first minority coaching candidate to be hired in this year’s cycle. The 49ers will receive two third-round compensatory picks as a result of the hire.

With Miami securing their man, there are now only two teams remaining who are without a head coach: the Texans and Saints. Keep up with the last remaining coaching searches on our 2022 NFL Head Coaching Search Tracker.

Latest on Niners’ Trent Williams

After injuring his ankle in the 49ers’ Divisional Round win over the Packers, offensive tackle Trent Williams is looking likely to start in the NFC Championship game tomorrow in Los Angeles, according to a tweet from ESPN’s Nick Wagoner. In the tweet, Wagoner relayed a message from head coach Kyle Shanahan that Williams is adamant that he will be able to play and that Shanahan would be surprised if he doesn’t. 

There was a bit of concern for Williams in Green Bay last Saturday night when he was seen on crutches after the game. The first-team All-Pro appeared to injure his ankle early in the third quarter, according to Sports Illustrated’s Grant Cohn, but finished the game with some ankle tape and some true grit. Williams was a question mark to play in the team’s Wild Card win over the Cowboys due to an elbow injury suffered in Week 17. He sat out the regular season finale – which would have ended San Francisco’s season if not for a come-from-behind victory over their next opponent, the Rams – but was able to start once again for both playoff games. The nine-time Pro Bowler has continued to play at an elite level in his second season with the 49ers, an encouraging sign given that he is under contract with the team for another five years after this season concludes.

Wagoner continued in a follow up tweet that running back Jeff Wilson is the only other player on the injury report, being the listed as questionable alongside Williams.

Extra Points: Cousins, 49ers, USFL, Europe

While Kirk Cousins has been the Vikings’ starter for four years now, his status came up constantly ahead of his 2018 free agency bid. Kyle Shanahan confirmed the 49ers would have been in play for Cousins in 2018 — for what would have been a reunion between he and the QB he coached while Washington’s OC — but San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo extension preempted such a pursuit. Washington’s head coach at the time, however, believes the 49ers would have coughed up a considerable trade package for Cousins prior to October 2017’s Garoppolo trade. Jay Gruden said Washington could have obtained two first-rounders and perhaps two seconds for Cousins ahead of the 2017 deadline, and the then-WFT HC said — during an appearance on the Kevin Sheehan Show, via the Washington Post’s Jake Russell (Twitter links) — Daniel Snyder and Bruce Allen effectively killed such talks due to not wanting to reunite Shanahan and Cousins.

The 49ers gave up only a second-round pick for Garoppolo, though Cousins was a far more established starter at the time. The 49ers were mentioned in trade rumors regarding Cousins ahead of the 2017 draft, prior to his second Washington franchise tag, but Shanahan has only confirmed the team was planning to go after him in free agency. Gruden suggested Washington still had hopes of re-signing Cousins then; the team walled off this path after trading for Alex Smith in January 2018. Washington has long since moved on, firing Gruden during the 2019 season and Allen at its conclusion, though a notable void still exists for the franchise at QB.

Here is more from around pro football:

  • The XFL is not planning to launch its latest reboot until 2023, but another spring football attempt is in the works. Fox Sports is aiming another effort at establishing the United States Football League and has slated the effort for April, Ben Fischer of the Sports Business Journal reports. The USFL represents the best effort yet of a spring league in America; its ill-fated plan to move to the fall in 1986 led to its demise after three seasons. Fox employees Daryl Johnston and Mike Pereira, along with The Spring League co-founder Brian Woods, are set to be involved with this latest spring effort. Games would be televised primarily on FS1. Details are scarce at this point, but the recent Alliance of American Football and XFL 2.0 forays illustrate the uphill battle spring football presents.
  • The NFL’s push to play a game in Germany is expected to come to fruition by Super Bowl weekend, with Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports noting plans for the league’s future in Germany will become clear by February. The league is set to begin playing games in Germany annually either next season or in 2023, depending on COVID-19 restrictions, JLC adds. This would up the total of international games to at least four — two in London, one in Mexico City and one in a to-be-determined German city. With the NFL having sent more than two games to London in several previous seasons, it is possible the number of international games will surpass four.
  • Additional COVID testing is on tap for the post-Thanksgiving week. The league will require masks for all players, regardless of vaccination status, from Nov. 25-Dec. 1 at team facilities, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. All players and staffers will be tested twice the week following Thanksgiving.

Kyle Shanahan Discusses Decision To Take Trey Lance Over Mac Jones

Even up until the day of the 2021 Draft, it was still uncertain which QB the 49ers would take with the No. 3 pick. Our final report on the subject indicated that the decision was down to the team’s eventual pick, Trey Lance, and Alabama’s Mac Jones, who ended up going to the Patriots at No. 15.

During a recent appearance on the “Flying Coach” podcast, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan seemed to indicate that the team did seriously consider Jones before ultimately choosing Lance.

“I think either one would have been a good decision,” Shanahan said (h/t Yahoo’s Josh Schrock). “Like, you’re not moving up if you don’t feel good about both of those. And if it had just been one then we probably would have said no — well, we probably wouldn’t have said that because it’s still risky. But we really — either one of those players would have been a great pick, in my opinion. And the third guy with Justin [Fields], he would have been a great pick. It’s just what direction do you want to go.

“There’s so many things that go into it and you’ve got to make that decision. But I didn’t blame people at all for thinking it would be Mac Jones. Because Mac Jones deserves that. He’s that good of a player and he put it on tape for a whole year, and everyone did want to relate me to Kirk [Cousins] because that’s the only guy that I was openly going for as a free agent, so people talk about him. But Trey brought another element. And it doesn’t mean he’s better or worse. It just means he brought another element that over the course of us studying it really intrigued us, and that’s a direction I would love to go and have always wanted to go.

“But the guy has got to be able to do it all, and Trey sold us that he could and that’s why I’m excited to work with him and it’s up to us to get him to do it.”

After acquiring the No. 3 pick from the Dolphins for No. 12 and a pair of future firsts, the 49ers never really showed their hand, but it sounds like the team was sincerely exploring all of their potential options. As Shanahan noted, the 49ers seemed to value Lance’s diverse skill set, something that was especially evident during a 2019 collegiate season where the quarterback ran for 1,100 yards. For comparison’s sake, Jones had 42 rushing yards throughout his entire college career.

While Lance will eventually be under center for his new team, it sounds like the team is going to give Jimmy Garoppolo every opportunity to win the starting gig.