Let me start this off by saying I know San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is not going to win an MVP award. The AP award is the primary MVP award, but there are several others, and Garoppolo will not win any of them. I get that.
However, I do think there is an argument that he could be the most valuable player in the league. Five games won’t be enough for voters, but I find it hard to dispute how valuable he has proven to this franchise. A counter might be that a full offseason of game-planning will help opposing teams, but I counter that by saying he will have a full offseason learning Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
In the first 11 games of the season, the 49ers offense made some big plays here and there, but was mostly inconsistent en route to a 1-10 start. In four games of Garoppolo starting, the team looks entirely different. The offense is showing all sorts of signs of life, peaking with a monster performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars’ top ranked defense. Garoppolo does not directly impact the defense, but his strong play on offense does make life easier on offense.
The Associated Press MVP award is simply listing who is your MVP, and not ranking out the top five or ten candidates like in other sports. If they offered ranked voting, I could see Garoppolo getting some votes further down the ballot. Having to choose a single player for the ballot takes away that opportunity.
There are 50 votes from the Associated Press in their MVP award. I know it won’t happen, but I would love to see one of the voters offer up a case for Jimmy Garoppolo as MVP. We’ve seen how bad the 49ers are without him, and we’ve seen how good they are with him. It’s only been four games, but Jimmy Garoppolo is proving to be a franchise-altering player. Many would say wait until next year, but there is a bold choice to be made for Jimmy Garoppolo.
This is more a thought exercise than anything, but I really do think there is an argument to be made for Jimmy Garoppolo as 2017 MVP. Yes, plenty will scream “HOMER!” but I don’t think it is entirely out of the realm of the reasonable.