Despite speculation the San Francisco 49ers could move on from Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason, general manager John Lynch is confident the quarterback will be under center for his team to begin the 2021 campaign.
Lynch didn't hesitate when asked if he doubts a healthy Garoppolo will be San Francisco's starter in September.
"No. Not at all. I really believe that," Lynch said recently, according to Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk.
Garoppolo has posted a 24-9 record (playoffs included) as a starter since joining the 49ers in 2017. He's completed 67.5% of his pass attempts for 3,795 yards and 24 touchdowns against 13 interceptions per 16 regular-season games in San Francisco.
However, the 29-year-old has missed 23 contests due to multiple injuries over the last three seasons, including 10 matchups in 2020.
"Being available is a big part of this thing," Lynch added. "So we - probably as a stated goal - we have to insulate ourselves better. We've got to have better options if he's not there.
"I've watched people go through this in their careers where they struggled early. It happened to me early, and then I went eight years without missing a practice. So I believe things can happen, and I believe they will for him. I really believe that Jimmy is our guy."
Garoppolo's average annual salary of $27.5 million ranks 11th in the NFL at his position, according to Spotrac. The signal-caller's five-year, $137.5-million extension signed in 2018 has generated criticism in recent years, but head coach Kyle Shanahan believes "that's how much (quarterbacks) cost."
Mullens completed 64.7% of his pass attempts for 12 touchdowns to 12 interceptions while posting a 2-6 record over 10 appearances in 2020. Beathard, meanwhile, played in six games (two starts), and he threw six TD passes.
After reaching Super Bowl LIV two seasons ago, injuries plagued a 6-10 San Francisco team in 2020 en route to missing the playoffs.