Jimmy Garoppolo is now the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, and barring injury, should be under center for the remainder of the season. Barring something catastrophic, he’ll be under center for the next several seasons, but 2018 at the very least given that he’s likely to draw the franchise tag.
The one-year tag will pay Garoppolo a large amount of money for one season, but it’s an amount of money in line with the top franchise quarterbacks in the league. Garoppolo hasn’t shown that he is that kind of player and certainly doesn’t have enough time to do that on this bad 49ers team this season, but the quarterback position is a weird one.
Teams have to make a lot of decisions based on projections and, at times, faith. Kyle Shanahan is clearly a believer in Garoppolo, so much so that he said on Monday that Garoppolo getting the franchise tag makes sense for both sides. He also said that Garoppolo doesn’t necessarily need to play this season to earn the franchise tag.
Well, he’s going to play. He’s set to start against the Chicago Bears in place of rookie third-round pick C.J. Beathard, who really deserves a hand for stepping in and absorbing the kind of damage he absorbed for this bad team. But now we’re getting to the crux of this article ... this bad team.
If Garoppolo comes out, throws five interceptions Nathan Peterman style, is there a chance he doesn’t get the franchise tag? Can Garoppolo do anything to hit the open market at the end of this season as opposed to the franchise tag? Or are the 49ers so bad that such a scenario would be downright unfair to him.
Shanahan’s offense is tricky to learn and there’s no way Garoppolo knows it front to back yet. He won’t until well into the offseason program. So personally, I think there is no chance Garoppolo can do something on the field to prevent the franchise tag this offseason.