Report: Jimmy Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan’s relationship soured prior to NFC Championship

Feb 8, 2023, 10:49 AM

| Updated: 12:54 pm
Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers talks with Jimmy Garoppolo #10 prior to the gam...

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 11: Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers talks with Jimmy Garoppolo #10 prior to the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 11, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Many rumors have circulated this week on the 49ers and the relationship between quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan following the 2022 season.

The former 49ers’ signal-caller will enter the free agent market for the first time in his NFL career this spring. After six seasons in San Francisco, some were taken aback by Shanahan’s response to Jimmy G’s impending free agency. Leading the team to a Super Bowl berth, Garoppolo’s former employers were cold in the team’s final presser of the 2022 season, dismissing the QB altogether.

“No, I don’t see any scenario of that,” Shanahan said bluntly last Tuesday.

Well, now we have a little more information as to why.

The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami stated in a mailbag that he did some digging amongst the 49ers’ brass, revealing there was a strain in the relationship between the two sides, and that it had been brewing for some time.

“Well, I checked around the team and discovered: Yes, the relationship between Garoppolo and Shanahan/[John] Lynch seems to have gone a bit south in the days or weeks leading up to the NFC Championship Game loss in Philadelphia. I don’t know if there was a specific blow-up or conversation that led to this. I don’t know what the main issue was,” Kawakami wrote.

Another rumor floating around is that Jimmy Garoppolo was healthy enough to return from a foot fracture in the NFC Championship game, but chose not to, leaving the 49ers will only two healthy QBs entering the day. A far-fetched rumor, Kawakami and other media members have shut down that notion, instead pointing to the drama over the last few seasons as the tea leaves for the breakup.

“But Shanahan and Lynch saved it for Garoppolo, who tried and couldn’t get healthy enough to be Purdy’s backup in the conference title game. And then Purdy got hurt,” Kawakami continued.

“Again, I don’t know that any of this directly led to Shanahan’s abrupt answer about Garoppolo and, before that, Garoppolo bypassing the media during locker-room clean-out day last week, but I imagine this was part of the atmosphere around the two.

“Which maybe is the perfect weird way to end the extended high/low Garoppolo era with the 49ers. There was no chance Garoppolo was sticking around again as the 49ers’ backup in 2023, and there was also no chance that Shanahan or Lynch would’ve wanted him to once Purdy emerged as a quality starter. Shanahan’s terse answer was just the official notification of this.”

A lot of drama indeed, as the 49ers now shift their focus back to winning football games next season with either Brock Purdy, or Trey Lance, at the helm.


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