The San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback situation has been talked about at nauseam this offseason. From Matthew Stafford to Deshaun Watson, to Sam Darnold, every signal-caller rumored to be on the trading block has been linked to the Niners.
But through it all, the one thing that has remained consistent is that Jimmy Garoppolo remains the team’s starter. This isn’t the first time the 29-year-old is dealing with rumors about his replacement. The 49ers kicked the tires on Tom Brady last offseason, just months after Garoppolo led the team to a 13-3 record and a Super Bowl appearance.
Fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent, was on The Pat McAfee show and was asked how Garoppolo feels about all of the QB talk (h/t 49ers Web Zone).
“I think it would be naive to say that he doesn’t hear any of it, but the guy really doesn’t hear a lot of it,” Juszczyk said. “He’s not super active on social media. I mean, you’ll see the guy post like once a month on his Instagram, and it’s usually some sort of ad for some high-end car dealership or something. I don’t think he has a Twitter account, and if he does, he’s not very active on it.
And 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.”
Garoppolo isn’t particularly active on his social media accounts, but as Juszczyk says, he surely hears about the rumors. San Francisco’s record with Garoppolo under center speaks for itself at 24-9.
The injury concerns are entirely valid given that he has missed 23 starts in three seasons, but the Niners are undoubtedly a better team when he’s healthy. General manager John Lynch has said the team would look for a capable backup but added that Jimmy G is their guy.
Juszczyk isn’t the only member of the 49ers who has spoken out in support of Garoppolo. Players like George Kittle and Richard Sherman have said they believe San Francisco can win a championship with Garoppolo at the helm this offseason.
The only time Garoppolo has started more than six games was the 2019 season when he led the team to a conference championship. The 2021 campaign will be a make-or-break season for Jimmy G. If he’s unable to stay healthy, San Francisco will likely cut ties with the QB and walk away from his $27 million cap hit for the 2022 season. If the 49ers decide to move on after next season, the team will have $1.4 million in dead money for 2022.