If there was any doubt that the 49ers went into the offseason looking to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo, it was erased when Kyle Shanahan joined the Flying Coach podcast hosted by Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay and NFL Network's Peter Schrager.
When the topic of the Rams acquisition of Matthew Stafford came up, Shanahan left little doubt about how he felt.
"I remember looking through it because everyone was telling me it was a possibility," Shanahan said. "And Stafford is the man. I studied him hard coming out of college, and you always just play against him, so you know how good he is. But to know he might be available, and to spend two weeks really watching him, Sean, yeah, he's better than I had realized.
"I mean, he was the man, and he's actually underrated to me. So, I know how good of a guy you got, I know how good he is at play-action, I know how smart he is. Not only does he have a big arm, but he's got touch. He knows where to go with the ball."
Throughout the offseason, the 49ers had been linked to a number of available quarterbacks. During the early part of free agency, San Francisco was rumored to have interest in signing Andy Dalton, however he ended up signing with the Chicago Bears. According to reports, Shanahan was very interested in bringing in the veteran.
Mitchell Trubisky was another name that was mentioned during this period.
As free agency began to wind down and the draft approached, San Francisco showed interest in potentially trading for then Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, and also then New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold. Neither of those talks went far, and appeared to be more about gauging the cost.
All of this occurred after the 49ers missed out on Matthew Stafford. To cover up their missteps, the 49ers would decide to use three first-round draft picks along with a third rounder to acquire the No. 3 in the draft from the Miami Dolphins and ultimately select Trey Lance.
Throughout all of this, the 49ers have insisted that Jimmy Garoppolo was still their quarterback, however even that claim is starting to show cracks. Shanahan has progressed from originally saying that Lance would not be competing for the starting job shortly after the selection was made, to stating that when Lance would play would be entirely up to him showing that he is ready.
With the 49ers able to get through the installation of the offense during their OTA sessions, it’s now on Lance to show that his physical ability is on the same level as his mental acuity. For anyone who has watched Lance closely during his time at North Dakota State, the physical side isn’t going to be an issue.