The San Francisco 49ers are going to have decisions to make this offseason and in training camp on who is going to be starting under center for the 2023 season.
It will come down to who is the healthiest come Week 1 – Trey Lance or Brock Purdy – as head coach Kyle Shanahan expressed pessimism over the possibility of Jimmy Garoppolo coming back to San Francisco. But if it was up to 49ers legend Joe Montana, he would try to bring the latter quarterback in for another year.
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Montana told NFL journalist Michael Silver on the “Open Mike” podcast that the 49ers should go with the quarterback who has won them games.
“I think you just start Jimmy. … He still won a lot of games before he got hurt, and he still put them in that position to be able to go on that run to begin with,” the Pro Football Hall of Famer said. “… You’ve got to go with the guy who’s been winning the games – and he gets the offense – and go from there.”
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Garoppolo agreed to return to the 49ers for one more season and serve as Lance’s backup as San Francisco couldn’t find a trade partner for Garoppolo in the offseason. He was thrust into the starting role once Lance went down with an injury in Week 2.
Garoppolo led the 49ers to a 7-3 record as the starter, but he was lost for the season due to an injury as well. Purdy led the team to the NFC Championship Game, where they lost to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Shanahan talked about Garoppolo’s future last week, saying that he didn’t see “any scenario” of the quarterback returning next season.
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Garoppolo had 2,437 passing yards, 16 touchdown passes and four interceptions in 11 games.