The Jimmy Garoppolo saga continues in San Francisco. One day before the final cut day, the 49ers chose to restructure the 49ers backup in hopes to trade him during the season.
What is the infatuation with Jimmy Garoppolo and why is he still here? The 49ers have had multiple chances to move on and acquire a franchise quarterback or draft a franchise quarterback, which they did in 2021 in Trey Lance. In 2017, the 49ers were one of the worst teams in the league and looking for a franchise quarterback. Which led to San Francisco trading a second-round pick to the New England Patriots for their eventual backup quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo.
With a 1-10 record, the Niners added Jimmy Garopppolo to the quarterback room. He proceeded to win five straight games and the franchise ended the season at 6-10. In 2018, Garoppolo’s season ended with an ACL injury and San Francisco failed to make the playoffs in the first two seasons of Kyle Shanahan’s tenure. The team had an exciting off-season before the 2019 season by acquiring defensive end Dee Ford from the Kansas City Chiefs for a second-round pick and linebacker Kwon Alexander who came off of a career season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
With a loaded defense that included defensive rookie of the year Nick Bosa, whom the team selected second overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, and veterans across the offensive line, San Francisco cruised to a 13-3 record for their first number one seed finish since 2011 with Alex Smith at the helm.
Jimmy Garoppolo In The 2019 Playoffs: Where It Went Wrong
The 49ers dominated Minnesota in the divisional round predicated on their running game and defense. However, this was what many believed was the beginning of the end of Jimmy Garoppolo’s tenure in San Francisco. With a 14-7 lead and 2:48 left in the second quarter, Garoppolo threw an interception right to linebacker Eric Kendricks. From that point on in the game, Jimmy G only threw two passes until its conclusion. Moving to the Green Bay Packers and the NFC Championship game, Garoppolo only threw eight passes, ten in total over six quarters.
Yet again, the team was able to ride the run game where Raheem Mostert had a career performance rushing for over 200 yards as the stout defense was led by Fred Warner, Richard Sherman, and Arik Armstead. The biggest question mark heading into Super Bowl 54 was could Jimmy Garoppolo deliver a championship as a starter. With a 10-point lead in the 4th quarter, the 49ers could only manufacture forty-nine yards of offense in the final four drives. Garoppolo only completed 3-11 passes for 36 yards and went 0-3 on third down in the fourth quarter.
The 49ers and the 2020/2021 Off-Seasons: Who Was Available?
During the 2020 off-season, Tom Brady became available in free agency. But the team chose to stick with Garoppolo while Brady joined Tampa Bay, winning a Super Bowl in his first season with Tampa. This critical error cost them a chance to get back to the Super Bowl as Garoppolo suffered another injury, derailing the season. This was the second season in four years that Jimmy G couldn’t stay healthy which was starting to become a trend.
During the 2021 off-season, the front office made calls to the Detroit Lions for Matthew Stafford. Yet again, they lost out to the division rival Los Angeles Rams who outbid the 49ers in the final hours. The Rams eventually beat San Francisco in the 2021 NFC Championship game coming from behind and beating the 49ers. Over the last twelve minutes, the Niners’ offense could not accumulate one single yard.
When Will The Jimmy Garoppolo Saga End For The 49ers?
The Jimmy G saga was over, or so we thought, as the organization moved to Trey Lance. With Garoppolo still on the roster, the 49ers looked for a trade partner, however, they couldn’t get a deal done. There is speculation on why no one wanted Jimmy. Was it his contract? Was it his play? Was it his surgery? We don’t know exactly why no one traded for him despite a 31-14 record with the 49ers.
On August 29th, 2022, the 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo agreed to restructure his contract. This move surprised a lot of people. However, the 49ers increased their cap space and also made a Garoppolo trade more financially feasible. The big question is, why would the 49ers look to move on from Jimmy in two consecutive off-seasons and draft a generational talent in Trey Lance, then restructure his contract to keep him on the team? Until he’s off the roster, the drama continues.
Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers agreed to a restructured one-year contract that will keep the QB in San Francisco this season, per sources. The contract contains no-trade and no-tag clauses, assuring Garoppolo will remain in SF this season and have the freedom to leave in 2023. pic.twitter.com/2tj0dDGgN9 — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 29, 2022
What Happens In the 2022-2023 Regular Season?
Here are a few things to ponder. First, do the 49ers still believe there is a trade partner for Jimmy Garoppolo? Second, can the 49ers use the cap space created to make the 49ers roster better? Third, what does the future look like with Trey Lance now at the helm with Jimmy still on the roster?
With the 49ers looking to win their sixth Super Bowl, does Jimmy Garoppolo on the team increase their chances of making the playoffs? We will see how the season plays out, but one thing is for sure, there will be drama along the way.