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49ers open to Jimmy Garoppolo return, 'happy' with three quarterbacks

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49ers open to Jimmy Garoppolo return, 'happy' with three quarterbacks
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo helped the San Francisco 49ers reach the playoffs last season. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo

PALM BEACH, Fla., March 29 (UPI) -- Jimmy Garoppolo could return and compete to be the San Francisco 49ers' starter in 2022, despite the team's desire to trade the quarterback, coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters Tuesday at the NFL's annual meeting.

"We looked into trading Jimmy, because we obviously believe that Trey [Lance] can be a starter," Shanahan said at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla.

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"We are ready to do that, but if we can't upgrade our team in other ways we aren't just going to get rid of a good quarterback because we have other quarterbacks on the roster.

"Quarterbacks are really hard to come by. Some teams don't have any at all. The fact that we have three that we are happy with, that's a good thing."

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Garoppolo told reporters in February that he expects to be traded this off-season. The eight-year veteran started 15 games and led the 49ers to the playoffs last season.

49ers general manager John Lynch told reporters Monday that the team has yet to receive a formal trade offer for Garoppolo, but still will field calls for the veteran.

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He also said he doesn't "foresee" the team releasing Garoppolo, who is under contract through 2022.

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Garoppolo underwent surgery earlier this month on his injured right throwing shoulder. He is expected to resume throwing before training camp.

Shanahan said the injured shoulder impacted his trade value.

"Anytime someone gets a surgery, especially on their throwing shoulder, teams are going to be a little more nervous with what they want to offer and things like that," Shanahan said.

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"So I think that did put it on hold. And we're alright with that."

Shanahan said if a trade doesn't occur, Garoppolo could still compete with Lance in training camp to be the 49ers' Week 1 starter. Lance, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, started twice in 2021.

"We will figure that out," Shanahan said of Garoppolo's potential presence at training camp. "He's a good quarterback. He's not easy for anyone to beat out [for the starting job.

"Trey wasn't ready to beat him out last year. He will definitely be closer to that this year, if it happens."

The 49ers do not own a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Their first pick is expected to be in the second round, at No. 61 overall.

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