(Reuters) – San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan deflected questions about Jimmy Garoppolo’s future on Monday, saying he could not guarantee the quarterback would still be alive on Sunday to make his roster.
Garoppolo led the 49ers to the Super Bowl game in 2020 but speculation over his future has been rife since they traded up from 12th to acquire the third pick of this year’s NFL Draft.
The 49ers are widely expected to take a quarterback with that pick and when asked if Garoppolo would still be on the roster after the draft Shanahan took the news conference in a darker direction.
“I can’t guarantee that anybody in the world will be alive Sunday, so I can’t guarantee who will be on our roster on Sunday,” Shanahan said. “That goes for all of us.”
49ers tight end George Kittle took the remark and ran with it.
“I’ll call you on Sunday to let you know I’m alive coach,” he tweeted.
Alabama’s Mac Jones, who is among the leading quarterbacks in the 2021 class, has been reported to be the 49ers’ top priority, but Shanahan remained tight-lipped.
“I think … there’s five quarterbacks,” he said. “Everyone’s excited to draft a quarterback. If you would have been excited about one of these guys at 12, then you should be excited at three.”
(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)