Yesterday felt like end of Finding Nemo. The fish in the dentist’s tank tried all movie long to find a way to escape their captivity and make it to open water. After an hour and forty minutes of planning and struggling, they finally make a break for it, cross traffic, and roll their bags into the sea. Then, the characters look at each other and Brad Garrett’s character says what everyone is thinking, “Now what?” After another loss dropped the team to 4-4 and the news yesterday that both Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle would be out for an extended period of time, the 49ers and their fans are now asking themselves that same question.
For a team that was in the Super Bowl 275 days ago, the level of uncertainty is staggering. Obviously the focus begins at quarterback, where Jimmy Garoppolo’s play has fluctuated between competent distributor to incompetent liability. That volatility has registered not only with fans, but also with the organization as well.
As Sports Illustrated’s Leo Luna put it with Niner Nate on his latest podcast, “After dealing with Jimmy Garoppolo these last two years, you can tell Kyle Shanahan is frustrated. When Jimmy is struggling with confidence, he doesn’t get the ball down the field.”
So the question now becomes, has that frustration reached a point of no return where the 49ers will move on from a guy who had them six minutes away from a sixth Super Bowl title? If they do move on, do they spend what will likely be a mid-to-high first round pick on a quarterback, or would Kyle Shanahan rather bring in another veteran with experience in his system? Would Sam Darnold tickle his fancy? What about Matt Stafford?
As if those questions weren’t big enough, there’s plenty more uncertainty beyond just the quarterback position. What about Dee Ford’s future with the team? Has Richard Sherman suited up in the scarlet and gold for the final time? Weston Richburg? There are questions all over this roster, and Nate and Leo tried to dig through all of them and more in today’s episode.
Take a listen for yourself and let us know what you think. If you like the show, please subscribe to the Niners Nation Podcast Network wherever you get your podcasts.