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Subject: Niners want Jimmy Garoppolo to be franchise QB, not 17 savior
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Niners want Jimmy Garoppolo to be franchise QB, not '17 savior
	
By Ian Rapoport
NFL Network Insider
Published: Nov. 5, 2017 at 08:06 a.m. Updated: Nov. 5, 2017 at 08:35

The 49ers acquired Jimmy Garoppolo not for the 2017 season, but beyond. 
And while coach Kyle Shanahan made some scratch their heads by saying 
the former Patriots quarterback might not even play this season, it 
actually makes sense when you understand the mindset.

Garoppolo is their 2018 second-round draft pick. That's the thought 
process, though he's a player who both teams believe is far more 
talented than that.

A few days after the surprising trade prior to the deadline last week, 
conversations with sources with direct knowledge of the situation 
painted a more complete picture about why the trade happened and how San 
Francisco plans to deploy him.

Both sides believe the Niners got a "stud," with members of the SF 
organization making that conclusion after they studied him coming out of 
the draft. But they did not trade for him to save the season. He'll 
backup C.J. Beathard against the Cardinals on Sunday and could be 
functional in the offense if needed. But they will not put him out on 
the field until he's ready with the playbook and until the supporting 
cast on this injury-depleted team can protect him and help him thrive.

The Patriots also believe he is a franchise quarterback -- 
character-wise and on-the-field -- but only traded for him because of 
two main factors:

1. Garoppolo and New England couldn't come close to a contract extension 
when the talks were broached in the spring. Had they gotten Garoppolo to 
accept a backup-plus contract, he wouldn't have been traded. That opened 
the door to a trade before he walked in free agency.

2. The Patriots believe Tom Brady will play for years to come, and 
they're confident in that assessment after seeing the 40-year-old's 
level of play through the first half of the season. They consider 
keeping Garoppolo to be insurance for the first half of the season 
against a Brady decline. It never came close to happening.

Trading Brady was never an option and won't be an option for the 
Patriots. He will play as long as he wants, with the belief that the 
greatest QB of all time will know when to hang 'em up.

So, dealing Garoppolo was the only way to get something out of the QB 
situation and do what's best for the team.

This offseason, Garoppolo wasn't available, despite the fact that 
several teams called. The Cleveland Browns offered a second-rounder and 
a mid-round pick, but it never was seriously considered.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who took the lead on this particular 
deal, was deeply thoughtful about trading a player he loved and felt 
could be their franchise QB in a different situation. He sought out the 
49ers, worked quickly, and finished the deal in a day. His respect for 
general manager John Lynch and Shanahan was evident, as was his desire 
to make sure Garoppolo had a landing spot that would contribute to 
future success.

As for the 49ers, trading for Garoppolo means they won't pursue 
Shanahan's former pupil Kirk Cousins. If San Francisco was gearing up to 
have to choose between the two during the 2018 offseason it never came 
to that.

Cousins was always a target, but Garoppolo was presented as a current 
and very viable option. They made the somewhat easy call to take the 
sure thing in Jimmy G now, rather than wait for the possibility Cousins 
would be available (knowing you can't predict how the Redskins will 
proceed).

So Garoppolo lands in San Francisco, with the chance to play -- what he 
always wanted. But he's on board with the coaches' plan, and will wait 
until they feel he's ready. Make no mistake, the Niners love what 
they've seen from Garoppolo. He's picking up the offense quickly and has 
helped Beathard. But he wasn't brought here to save their 2017 season.

The 49ers brass knows there are a multitude of injuries all around. Wide 
receiver Pierre Garcon was placed on injured reserve Saturday and 
offensive tackle Joe Staley (orbital bone) won't play Sunday. Undrafted 
free agents dot their lineup. If Garoppolo was the only one unfamiliar 
with the terminology, veterans could step in and help. But those guys 
really aren't there to help.

A player who projects to have a similar skill set to former Cowboys 
quarterback Tony Romo is exactly what the 49ers wanted. And they 
couldn't be happier that this opportunity was presented to them. But 
from what it sounds, the earliest you could see him is after the bye and 
even then, there is no guarantee.

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

	
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http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000871712/article/niners-want-...