The San Francisco 49ers just dropped a major hint about what lies ahead for Jimmy Garoppolo. The team is reportedly looking to trade the quarterback and has set his price at a first-round pick, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Jimmy Garoppolo is the young quarterback who was acquired by the San Francisco 49ers in October. The team has since been winning games with him, so much so that they have started to hint at what lies ahead for Garoppolo.
With Jimmy Garoppolo as quarterback, the San Francisco 49ers came agonizingly close to winning the Super Bowl in 2019. But, since since Kyle Shanahan’s team blew a fourth-quarter lead to Patrick Mahomes in the year’s biggest game, Tom Brady’s erstwhile backup has been dogged by concerns about his long-term future with the Patriots.
Should it come as a shock?
Not at all.
After all, since quarterback days with the New England Patriots, Garoppolo has battled to remain on the field. In reality, the 29-year-old quarterback has only made 32 starts in his career. Of course, it still puts him ahead of Trey Lance, the highly touted prospect who is expected to assume his job at some time.
The physical tools of the third overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft are definitely interesting. The former North Dakota State quarterback, who has an exceptional mix of height, speed, and arm power, has the potential to become an excellent NFL quarterback one day. Despite his lack of experience (he only appeared in 19 games in college), Lance seems to be a good option to wait behind an established starter and improve.
Throughout the summer, speculation has circulated regarding San Francisco’s plans for the most important job in sports. On the one hand, it would make sense to let Garoppolo finish off his contract year and pass the ball to Lance in 2022.
Moving on from a quarterback who loses too much time due to injury and replacing him with a physically talented prospect with superstar potential makes sense.
Shanahan may be the only one who knows when the switch will take place, but the 49ers have just thrown a big clue about what lies next for their current starter.
The team named their captains for the 2021 season on Wednesday. George Kittle, Arik Armstead, and Trent Williams, unsurprisingly, received the coveted award.
Which of the names on the list is the most intriguing?
Jimmy Garoppolo is a quarterback who plays for the New England Patriots.
His participation does not seem to be a complete surprise. He’s one of the team’s highest-paid players, and he’s been with the club since 2017. He also plays the most important position on the field. Because of all of these reasons, he was an obvious choice to wear the “C” on his chest once again.
What does this imply for Garoppolo’s long-term prospects?
By winning the captaincy, it’s obvious that he’ll be the offensive leader for at least another year. The 49ers have a strong roster that seems capable of going all the way in the playoffs. They may not be as good as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers, but they seem to be a legitimate contender for the NFC West title or at the very least a wild card berth.
Is Garoppolo giving the 49ers a greater chance of winning a championship in the long run?
Almost certainly not. Lance has the potential to be one of the league’s top five players. His tutor, on the other hand, cannot be considered to be in the same boat.
Even Lance’s most ardent fans must acknowledge that he needs some time to mature. For a San Francisco team with genuine Super Bowl ambitions, staying with Garoppolo in 2021 makes the most sense.
Jimmy Garoppolo’s future in San Francisco may be uncertain, but the 49ers are unmistakably his club. | Getty Images/San Francisco 49ers/Michael Zagaris
Finally, the veteran’s promotion to captain should put a stop to speculations that Lance will take over anytime soon. Garoppolo is the team’s undisputed leader (at least for the time being), and he has an opportunity to prove his detractors wrong by remaining healthy, playing efficient, mistake-free football, and stepping up in the playoffs.
That doesn’t alter the fact that he will eventually be replaced. The 49ers’ exchange of several first-round selections to move up to the third overall pick in the 2021 draft revealed the whole tale. Plus, after signing a $137.5 million contract deal in February 2018, Garoppolo hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations.
Still, the Lance selection may lead to a breakout season for a quarterback who has clearly earned Bill Belichick’s respect in New England.
That would be rather ironic, wouldn’t it?
Tom Brady saw the Patriots select his heir apparent back in 2014, and he went on to have an unparalleled run of success that hasn’t stopped since he departed New England. Perhaps Garoppolo will relive that event in San Francisco from a new viewpoint after encouraging TB12 to step up his game.
Unfortunately for the 49ers, they had to pay a high price for his replacement.
So, even if the Jimmy Garoppolo era’s fifth year is the best ever, don’t expect the experiment to continue in 2022.
Pro Football Reference provided all statistics. Spotrac provided all contract information.
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