Kyle Shanahan did not gamble his future by trading up for the No. 3 pick in next week's draft.
He gambled the 49ers' future.
Kyle Shanahan has taken no risk -- Jed York and Paraag Marathe have taken it. Because if the trade doesn't work out, and the quarterback they take with the No. 3 pick is a bust, and then the 49ers get rid of Shanahan, plenty of teams would line up to hire him as their next head coach. He'd be out of job for 20 minutes, while the 49ers would be stuck dealing with the fallout from this trade.
For all intents and purposes, Shanahan is playing craps in Las Vegas with Jed York's money. And Shanahan has tons of chips on the table. We're talking side bets up the wazoo. Hard 8s. You name it. And if he rolls a 7 and craps out, York's bank account will take the hit, not Shanahan's. And so if York ever loses confidence in Shanahan and cuts him off, some other NFL team will bankroll him, and Shanahan will keep his place at the dice table.
Which means Shanahan can afford to take the biggest risk imaginable with the No. 3 pick. If he thinks Trey Lance or Justin Fields has a chance to be great, but an equal chance to be awful, Shanahan can make that pick. And if Lance or Fields turns out to be awful, that's York's problem. Shanahan can go to a new team and pick a new quarterback and still have decades remaining in his NFL career.
Shanahan has nothing to lose.