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What Will The San Francisco 49ers Do With Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo

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November 4, 2020

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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is out for the next six weeks after suffering another high ankle sprain. According to Kyle Shanahan the injury is worse than the previous one he suffered that caused him to miss several starts. Surgery is also not out of the question. 

Garoppolo though doesn’t seem to have much support anymore. 49ers legend Steve Young doesn’t believe he’s a long-term answer at quarterback.  While others have indicated that durability has been an issue since arriving in San Francisco. He has made only 30 starts since arriving from New England in 2017. On social media fans have turned on their quarterback. Though there are still supporters out there. 


It’s shocking to say the least.  Seems 49ers fans are taking the Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs too hard.  So what is now being overlooked is that Garoppolo in really his first full season as a starter led the 49ers to the Super Bowl. He also seemed to play better after turning the ball over. He led the NFL with four comeback wins and trailed by one to  Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russel Wilson in game winning drives. 

Overall Garoppolo led San Francisco to a 13-3 record. He threw for 3,978 yards, 27 touchdowns to 13 interceptions and completed 69.1 percent of his passes. His ranks in franchise history for ingle season leader are: 

  • Third in completion percentage 
  • Fourth in passing yards
  • 10th in touhdowns

Putting him in the company of Steve Young, Joe Montana and Jeff Garcia. 

2020 on the other hand hasn’t been kind to Garoppolo.  He has continued to make similar mistakes as last season yet hasn’t been able to make up for them. The ankle injury bothered him in his start against the Miami Dolphins where he got pulled in favor of C.J. Beathard. Yet he played well against the Los Angeles Rams and the offensive line kept Aaron Donald at bay. After a 33-6 rout of the New England Patriots in Foxboro, San Francisco seemed poised for a playoff run. 

At 4-3 and eight teams getting in nine wins is the mark to get in. Unfortunately even with a crowd-less Seattle the game didn’t go well and Garoppolo didn’t do much against a struggling defense and suffered his second high ankle sprain of the season. He got replaced with Nick Mullens entering the game.  

Now it seems Garoppolo is at a crossroads with the organization.  Will he get kept for the 2021 season? Releasing him will save the 49ers a significant amount of money. Then the question becomes who will replace him at quarterback? 

In free agency it’s Dak Prescott who is the best option yet how much will he cost? No question Dallas will also make him a significant offer. Cam Newton is another one yet he has struggled since coming back from being diagnosed with Covid-19. Philip Rivers is 39 and Ryan Fitzpatrick is 38 yet neither are fits. 

Mullens is a restricted free agent and will likely need to get signed as the team’s no.2 quarterback. 

Free agency is not the way. What about making a trade? Shanahan likes Kirk Cousins and has always been linked to him. Still he hasn’t been good so far this season and the Minnesota Vikings already gave him a contract extension. Another name that has come up is Matt Ryan. He leads the NFL in passing yards with 2,462 yet his age is a factor as he turns 36 in May and it certainly means in 2021 taking a quarterback early in the draft. 

When San Francisco needs more draft capital to begin with. Selecting a quarterback early isn’t realistic.

Looking to the draft obviously the top quarterback is Trevor Lawrence and with four wins already there’s no chance of the 49ers getting the opportunity to take him. Justin Fields fits the mold of two of the four NFL West quarterbacks as he’s mobile. Still he doesn’t have much starting experience and really doesn’t fit what Shanahan likes to do.Trey Lance is the other option and wasn’t impressive to open the season.

The one quarterback likely on the radar is Zach Wilson of BYU. With a number of teams ahead of the 49ers who need a quarterback he’s not likely going to be there to draft.

With free agency, a trade and the draft not being viable options to replace Garoppolo. The question becomes what’s the solution? It’s to restructure his contract to create some cap space in 2021. The 49ers already started by trading Kwon Alexander to the New Orleans Saints for Kiko Alonso a conditional fifth-round pick. 

Obviously Young is not correct with his assertion that Garoppolo isn’t the long term solution at quarterback for the 49ers. Compared to what free agent quarterbacks are getting Garoppolo is a steal at what he’s getting paid, he’s still young and recently turned 29, as mentioned before has never lost back-to-back games, and if he can get past the injuries like Stephen Curry did with the Golden State Warriors then the 49ers are already set at quarterback.

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