Kyle Shanahan signals his desired Jimmy Garoppolo-Trey Lance outcome

Until a resolution is reached, the 49ers’ quarterback situation will remain one of the NFL’s most talked about offseason topics.

After unexpected shoulder surgery on March 8, Jimmy Garoppolo remains on the 49ers roster even as they prepare to transition into the Trey Lance era.

General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan have followed suit with their public comments about Garoppolo’s future with the organization. They won’t cut him. They have budgeted that he will be on the selection in 2022. Shanahan said at the annual NFL meeting on Tuesday that he would not say whether Lance would be the Week 1 starter if Garoppolo returns to the 49ers.

This naturally left fans and analysts pulling their hair out and going into sort of catatonic shock at the thought that the 49ers would stunt Lance’s development and keep him on the bench for another season in favor of Garoppolo.

But it’s not hard to decipher Shanahan’s opinion and desired outcome if you review the comments he made on Tuesday when he spoke to Bay Area reporters.

“We are ready to do anything – the best we can do for the Niners,” Shanahan said on Tuesday when asked whether they wanted to keep or cut Garoppolo. “The great thing is that we don’t have to decide about it today. We’re trying to see what’s best for the Niners, and having a good quarterback like Jimmy isn’t a bad thing. It’s a really good thing to be able to upgrade our roster by getting draft picks. What’s the timeline on that? It’s different when you have surgery. So we all have to deal with that. It really is as simple as it is.”

It doesn’t take a top detective to fathom these comments.

Shanahan likes that the 49ers have options when it comes to Garoppolo. He sees value in the ability to have more than one quarterback he can trust to start, and the ability to keep Garoppolo if the 49ers see fit. But he clearly values ​​the design capital the 49ers hope to get in an exchange for Garoppolo more than he does bringing back the 30-year-old signal caller. See the expressions “not a bad thing” and “a very good thing”.

What is clear is that Shanahan and Lynch are trying to create leverage, or at least create the illusion that they are leveraged. (They do not.)

The idea that Shanahan would love to bring Garoppolo back to compete with Lance or start over is a piece of merchandise the 49ers are trying to sell and no one is buying.

Obviously the focus is on Lance.

“You have to make sure you don’t hinder its development,” Shanahan said. “Trey works his tail off. He knows how I feel about him. He knows what our expectations are of him. And I think he has a lot of respect for Jimmy. But the situation is clear. We were trying to make a move to add a concept pick, and we were pretty close. And then Jimmy finally got the surgery, which changes things.

“I think Trey will understand all of that. I didn’t have to talk to him about it. But I think it makes sense for all these guys. Trey is not an insecure boy. I think the situation makes sense. There’s nothing sneaky going on. And he’s confident.”

Shanahan noted that he talks to Lance “all the time.” As for Garoppolo, not so much.

“We don’t talk much in the off-season. Jimmy isn’t the most communicative guy,” Shanahan said.

The 49ers are really not trying to hide anything. There is no quarterback controversy. They’re not going to sideline Lance for another season just because they haven’t found a taker for Garoppolo.

Shanahan became annoyed last season with the constant questions about whether Garoppolo or Lance would start. Shanahan thought he made it clear that Garoppolo was the starter until he wasn’t, and he got annoyed that he had to keep answering questions he thought he had already answered.

That’s why, when my colleague Matt Maiocco asked Shanahan on Tuesday if Lance would be the starter, we got the typical “I wouldn’t call it a starter” bit from the 49ers head coach.

RELATED: How Shanahan Thinks QB Coach Griese Can Help Lance

But what he said at another point on Tuesday tells you all you need to know.

“That’s why we’ve been looking at swapping Jimmy because we clearly believe Trey can be the starter and we’re ready to do that,” Shanahan said. “But if we can’t upgrade our team in some other way, we’re just going to get rid of a good quarterback because we have other quarterbacks on our roster.

“Quarterbacks are really hard to find. Some teams don’t have any at all. The fact that we have three that we’re happy with, that’s a good thing. You always want to upgrade your team. We all have guys who are able to “Jimmy did a great job for us. We brought Trey here to eventually become that. I think that will be sooner rather than later.”

The 49ers’ intention has always been to turn things over to Lance. He has given them no reason to change course, and Shanahan has not indicated that he intends to change course. If the 49ers can’t trade Garoppolo, he’ll be on the roster. Will he throw passes? Highly unlikely.

Shanahan told us what the plan is. All you have to do is listen.

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