San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has missed 23 of a possible 48 regular-season starts over the past three years, which is part of the reason his future in the Bay Area is rather uncertain amid the 2021 NFL offseason.
However, Jimmy G is apparently playing it cool, staying away from social media and letting things unfold organically as he aims to bounce back next season.
Kyle Juszczyk says Jimmy Garoppolo is tuning out future speculation
The 49ers fullback spoke in an interview on The Pat McAfee Show about how Garoppolo is laying low this offseason when it comes to trade rumors and whether or not he’ll return in 2021, per NFL Media’s Nick Shook:
“I know he keeps things really close in-house. The guy hangs out with his brothers, mostly, spends a lot of time with his family, just kind of has a tight-knit group of guys, and so he’s not really putting himself out there and letting himself listen to that kind of stuff because I think he knows how toxic it can be and what it can lead to. You’ve seen in other situations where guys just get hammered down reading negative things about themselves.”49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk on Jimmy Garoppolo
Garoppolo appeared in only six games last season, as the 49ers suffered a severe Super Bowl hangover and missed the playoffs. However, they were extremely banged up all over the roster, and as long as the team can retain key free agents like left tackle Trent Williams and make the most of picking earlier than anticipated in the 2021 NFL Draft, there’s little reason the 49ers can’t bounce back.
Given the importance of the quarterback position, though, the fact that Garoppolo has missed almost half his starts since truly taking over as the guy in San Francisco is discouraging.
Will Jimmy Garoppolo stay on as 49ers QB in 2021?
That’s one of the biggest questions surrounding the iconic Niners franchise at the minute. Head coach Kyle Shanahan got a lot out of Garoppolo in 2019, when he played all 16 games and led the team to a Super Bowl appearance. That year, Garoppolo threw for nearly 4,000 yards with a 102.0 passer rating.
Again, Garoppolo’s future is tied more to whether or not he can stay healthy than it is raw ability or production. He’s 24-9 as the 49ers’ starter including the playoffs, and when he’s been out, San Francisco has looked like a mess across the board.
Shanahan deploys a run-first scheme that’s difficult for any QB to master, and it’s evident the system runs a lot better when Garoppolo is in there. Having said that, if the 49ers think they can find an upgrade who can pick the playbook up quickly enough, they’ll probably pull the trigger.
Picking 12th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft means San Francisco is in that range to trade up and take one of the best quarterback prospects. However, in a stacked NFC West division, counting on a first-year field general to help the team immediately contend may be too much of a demand.
What also hurts Garoppolo’s case to return is his minimal salary cap burden. If the Niners cut him today, he’d save the team $23.6 million, and would only be a $2.8 million dead money hit. That should also appeal to potential trade suitors, who can see what Garoppolo has outside of Shanahan’s offense, and if he doesn’t succeed, they can part ways with him without crippling their cap situation.
Teams who need a quarterback could certainly do worse than Garoppolo. There’s even a common thought that he could return to the New England Patriots, who initially drafted him to replace Tom Brady, only to see TB12 thrive far past his perceived prime.
There’s a strong case to be made either way about Garoppolo staying or going in San Francisco. He’s one of the big QB dominoes still to fall in a wild offseason to date, yet it’s very possible he could stay put. At least the 29-year-old doesn’t seem to be letting any of the outside noise bother him to this point.