49ers tight end George Kittle had fun with Kyle Shanahan after San Francisco’s head coach remained vague about Jimmy Garoppolo’s future in a pre-draft press conference on Monday.
When asked if he can guarantee the 29-year-old quarterback will be on the roster come Sunday, Shanahan replied, “I can’t guarantee that anybody in the world will be alive Sunday.”
Soon after the ominous comment went viral, Kittle responded on Twitter under a clip from the press conference:
“I’ll call you on Sunday to let you know I’m alive coach.”
Tennessee Titans linebacker Will Compton also caught Shanahan’s comment at the press conference and tweeted his two cents.
“Me trying to figure out if I will live to see Sunday after Kyle Shanahan’s press conference,” Compton wrote alongside a photo of a somber-looking pug staring out the window.
Kittle, who has been supportive of Garoppolo, replied with a funny GIF of his own that featured a laughing Ralph Wiggum from “The Simpsons” with the caption, “*Chuckles* I’m in danger.”
The 49ers are planning to draft a quarterback on Thursday after they acquired the third overall pick from the Dolphins in a late March trade. At the time of the deal, the 49ers maintained their commitment to Garoppolo at least for the 2021 season. Monday’s comments, though, were the biggest sign yet that Garoppolo could be dealt at some point either during or after the draft.
Garoppolo has not publicly addressed Shanahan’s comments. Nonetheless, 49ers GM John Lynch said on Monday that the quarterback “has been a pro” amid the draft buzz.
“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,” Lynch said.
Lynch added that he’ll “always defer” to Shanahan, the offensive guru, when it comes to quarterback selection.
“Come Thursday, we’ll have a pick that hopefully makes everyone proud, but that will be judged in years to come,” Lynch said. “We’ve done our best to make sure it’s a great decision for this franchise.”
Shanahan echoed Lynch’s statements, adding, “I’m happy that we’re gonna get (a QB) that we like, that we’ve done it right, and I hope the fans are happy with it.”
Clemson alum Trevor Lawrence will presumably go No. 1 to the Jaguars, with the Jets likely to take Zach Wilson at No. 2.
NFL Network reported that the Niners’ decision has come down to Mac Jones (Alabama) and Trey Lance (North Dakota State), meaning Justin Fields (Ohio State) could be out of contention.
Garoppolo, who’s been with the 49ers since 2017, has two years left on his contract.
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