49ers pregame: More QB chatter on Garoppolo vs. ‘better option’; Saleh’s suitors line up in Atlanta, Detroit

Despite Kyle Shanahan’s declaration Monday that he believes Jimmy Garoppolo will be the 49ers’ quarterback in 2021, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Sunday that “most league insiders” believe the 49ers will move on if “a better option” becomes available.
Shanahan has never disputed that possibility, all while downplaying Garoppolo’s $24 million salary as the going rate.
This will be a continuous storyline through free agency, the draft and all offseason until Garoppolo takes the 49ers’ opening snap next season. A Nov. 1 ankle sprain effectively ended his season after only six starts.
“Now, you look into every avenue and you see if there’s something out there that can get you a ton better,” Shanahan said Monday.  “It’s the same answer for every position.
“But look at Jimmy, look what he’s done, look at where he’s at with us financially and we better have a very good answer if you’re going to find something better than that, because Jimmy’s shown in one year that he’s a guy who can take us to the Super Bowl and I also think Jimmy’s going to get a lot better the more he plays.”
Garoppolo, 29, initially sprained his right ankle in Week 2, and he was unable to finish half of his six starts this season. C.J. Beathard will make his second straight start today for the 49ers (6-9) against the Seattle Seahawks (11-4) at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
Mortensen’s report, on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, was transcribed by Bleacher Report as: “Garoppolo’s injuries certainly complicate the picture. Kyle Shanahan, the coach said, he believes Garoppolo will be the quarterback in 2021, but he says he can’t say it with certainty. Most league insiders believe if there’s a better option, the 49ers will have somebody other than Garoppolo at the start of next season.”
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At least two teams are reportedly lining up to interview Robert Saleh once he finishes out this fourth season as the 49ers’ defensive coordinator today.
Those two potential suitors: the Detroit Lions and the Atlanta Falcons, both of whom finished their seasons Sunday with interim coaches.
Saleh could interview as early as Monday with the Falcons, according to Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer.
The Lions already have interviewed former Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, and, they’re expected to meet with Saleh, Darrell Bevell (Lions interim coach) and Eric Bieniemy (Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator), according to Fox Sports’ Peter Schrager.

As reported on @NFLonFOX , the Lions are simultaneously interviewing HC’s and GM’s. Marvin Lewis has already interviewed for HC job.
Expectation is Darrell Bevell, Eric Bieniemy, and Robert Saleh all will interview for the HC job this week.
— Peter Schrager (@PSchrags) January 3, 2021

It’s unknown if Saleh has yet to interview over video conference with any team, as allowed under NFL rules that were revised Dec. 22.
The Houston Texans, with whom Saleh began his NFL career 15 years ago as an intern, also are looking to replace an interim coach, Romeo Crennel, who took over for Bill O’Brien after an 0-4 start.
Other expected coaching vacancies: the New York Jets (Adam Gase), the Jacksonville Jaguars (Doug Marrone) and the Los Angeles Chargers (Anthony Lynn).
The 49ers’ inactivated wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk (ankle), and Deebo Samuel (hamstring); cornerbacks Richard Sherman (calf) and K’Waun Williams (shin); defensive linemen Javon Kinlaw (knee) and Kevin Givens (family matter); and , linebacker Dre Greenlaw (calf).
Players who were questionable and are suiting up: safety Tarvarius Moore, cornerback Emmanuel Moseley and linebacker Mark Nzeochha (illness).
The Seahawks’ inactives: running backs Carlos Hyde and DeeJay Dallas; guard Mike Iupati; cornerback Jayson Stanley; tight end Greg Olsen; and, defensive end Jonathan Bullard.
Here is a list of other 49ers who finished the season unavailable:
WR Chris Thompson (hip): Aug. 17
DE Nick Bosa (ACL knee): Sept. 23
DL Solomon Thomas (ACL knee): Sept. 23
DE Ziggy Ansah (biceps): Oct. 10
C Ben Garland (calf): Oct. 20
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle): Nov. 5
S Jaquiski Tartt (toe): Nov. 11
RB JaMycal Hasty (collarbone): Nov. 17
CB Jamar Taylor (ACL): Dec. 1
CB Ken Webster (hamstring): Dec. 1
G Tom Compton (concussion): Dec. 12
QB Nick Mullens (elbow): Dec. 25
RB Raheem Mostert (knee): Dec. 25
LT Trent Williams (elbow): Jan. 1
DE Jordan Willis (ankle): Jan. 1
*Practice squad player on IR: WR Jauan Jennings (hamstring), S Jared Mayden (quadriceps), WR Shawn Poindexter (calf)
* * *
WR Trent Taylor, Dec. 23
TE Chase Harrell (PS), Dec. 23
LS Taybor Pepper, Dec. 28
K Robbie Gould, Dec. 30
* * *
DE Ronald Blair
C Weston Richburg
* * *
WR Travis Benjamin
OT Shon Coleman
OL Jake Brendell

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