John Lynch shares motivational message to 49ers backup QB C.J. Beathard


INDIANAPOLIS – C.J. Beathard experienced a five-game stint as the 49ers’ starting quarterback in the middle of his rookie season.

Now, if everything works as planned, he will remain as the backup for as long as he is with the 49ers.

“My message to him, ‘Become the next Jimmy Garoppolo,’” 49ers general manager John Lynch said. “You keep playing well and good things will happen for you, and he understands that.”

Beathard, a third-round draft pick from Iowa, replaced Brian Hoyer as the 49ers’ starter in a Week 6 game at Washington. On the season, Beathard completed 54.9 percent of his pass attempts for 1,430 yards with four touchdowns and six interceptions.

Beathard remained as the starter for three games after Garoppolo’s arrival in a trade from New England. The 49ers had the luxury of keeping Garoppolo on the sideline because Beathard was playing well, Lynch said.

“C.J. was playing well in our minds and was improving each and every week,” Lynch said. “C.J. has handled this tremendously well with a tremendous amount of class. It’s motivated him to become even better and continue working on his craft. We love his makeup and what he’s all about.”

Garoppolo spent 3 ½ seasons as Tom Brady’s backup before getting his chance in his contract year with the 49ers. Garoppolo’s strong finished enabled him to earn a five-year, $137.5 million contract from the 49ers to become the NFL’s highest-paid player.

Lynch said Beathard can use Garoppolo’s experience to drive him on a similar path – even if gets only limited opportunities with the 49ers.

“When things were going so well, that could’ve been hard for a young man to take, but he responded in the fashion we thought he would,” Lynch said. “I think there are exciting times ahead for C.J. Beathard.”

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