ESPN’s Bill Barnwell wrote an article going through players around the league with the most to gain or lose for the remainder of the season. Barnwell notes that “in many cases, this is financial,” which is likely the reason he chose to discuss Jimmy Garoppolo as one of the 24 players and coaches with the most at stake.
We just discussed ESPN’s Dan Graziano saying Trey Lance will start at some point this season, but “it won’t be for a while.” So with that in mind, let’s operate under the impression that Jimmy will start for a few more games at the very least.
In this universe, the 49ers kept Garoppolo through Week 1, guaranteeing his $24.1 million base salary for the season. Garoppolo promptly lasted 3½ games before getting injured. He has since returned from his calf ailment, but he has become the face of the frustrations being directed toward the 49ers. His limitations have been on display over the past few weeks, with the 49ers most recently losing to a Cardinals team without Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt in the lineup.
Using the word “limitations” sums up Garoppolo well. But, again, he’s isn’t the only reason why the 49ers are in the midst of losing four out of their last five games. But the offense has to fight tooth and nail to move the ball.
Explosive plays mask deficiencies on the rest of your team. See the Chiefs, Ravens, Rams, and every great offense ever. Unfortunately, San Francisco is 25th in explosive passing plays this season. The opportunities are there, but the quarterback isn’t taking them.
Here’s more from Barnwell:
The future in San Francisco is rookie No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance, but what Garoppolo does before Lance takes over could determine his own fate. If he plays well enough to justify holding on to the starting role for the entire season, he might attract teams interested in trading for a 2022 starter and willing to pay his $24.2 million base salary. (Garoppolo had a no-trade clause this past offseason, but that’s not in play during the 2022 offseason.) If he gets hurt or loses the job to Lance, he’s probably going to get cut and settle for a deal closer to $10 million per year.
It’s fascinating to think where Garoppolo could end up after this season. Does Kyle Shanahan continue to start him to recoup draft picks in the offseason from the Trey Lance trade? By doing so, you’re taking away from Lance’s development.
The handling of the 49ers quarterback situation has been a mess since the trade went down. First, you have Jimmy, who is a walking dead man as everyone in the locker room knows he’s a goner after this season.
Then you have Trey, who the coaches don’t feel is ready — or else he’d be playing. So it feels like a catch-22 situation the Niners put themselves in and can’t figure out how to get themselves out.
What do you expect from Garoppolo for the rest of the season, and where do you think he ends up in 2022?