NFL coach’s press conference takes seriously morbid turn

It appears Jimmy Garoppolo’s days with the San Francisco 49ers are numbered.

During a press conference on Tuesday (AEDT) ahead of the NFL Draft later this week, 49ers general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan were cryptic as they discussed Garoppolo’s status with the organisation.

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Speculation about Garoppolo’s future began in late March when the 49ers acquired the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft from the Miami Dolphins, who then traded the No. 12 pick to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Niners were desperate for pick No. 3 to get a clean shot at drafting a quarterback — but following the trade, the organisation maintained they had no plans to punt Garoppolo, their quarterback since 2017.

“We could have sat there at (pick) 12, and waited (for) which (quarterback) came to us, if one did,” Shanahan told reporters. “But we made a decision that we felt we needed to get a starting QB. We wanted to dictate it. We’ll get the one that we feel is best for us.”

Shanahan added that they had one quarterback in mind to take with the third-overall pick, but after going through the process, San Francisco now has its eyes on “about five” play-callers. However, the coach neglected to name any prospects.

Things then took a dark turn when Shanahan was asked if he could guarantee Garoppolo, 29, will be on the roster come Sunday, as he tried to avoid answering the question.

“I can’t guarantee that anybody in the world will be alive Sunday,” he said. So I can’t guarantee who will be on our roster on Sunday.

“That goes for all of us.”

Kyle Shanahan was asked if Jimmy Garoppolo would be on the 49ers' roster on Sunday.

His answer 😳 pic.twitter.com/57IZHI0arw

The internet had plenty of jokes after hearing Shanahan’s morbid one-liner.

Dan Katz of Barstool Sports tweeted: “Is Kyle Shanahan going to kill Jimmy G? Seems extreme.”

Jason Owens of Yahoo Sports wrote: “The events of the last couple of years have taken a mental toll on most of us. It appears that Shanahan is no exception. That’s an exceptionally dark approach to avoid answering a question about football.”

Me trying to figure out if I will live to see Sunday after Kyle Shannahan’s press conference pic.twitter.com/1O57NyjA5o

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence is widely expected to be taken No. 1 in the draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the New York Jets are likely to take Zach Wilson at No. 2. NFL Network reported that the Niners’ decision is down to Mac Jones and Trey Lance, with Justin Fields seemingly out of the running.

Lynch said that Shanahan is their play-caller, which means he will always defer to the head coach when it comes to quarterbacks.

“Jimmy’s been a pro,” Lynch told reporters. “I just spoke to him over the weekend. He’s here, he’s taking part in our virtual meetings, planning on being at the workouts and Jimmy’s been completely professional.”

Garoppolo, who has two years left on his contract and is set to count for over $AUD33 million against the team’s salary cap in 2021, came to San Francisco in a trade from the New England Patriots in October 2017.

In 2020, Garoppolo re-aggravated his high-ankle sprain and was placed on injured reserve list in November. He began practising with the team again but the 49ers didn’t activate him before the end of the season.

Garoppolo played in just three games in 2018 after tearing his ACL in Week 3.

This story first appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission

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