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Gold Diggers: Is Pittsburgh the future home of Jimmy Garoppolo?

Steelers running back Najee Harris wouldn’t mind it

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Now that the season is over, the biggest storyline for the 49ers will be when and where Jimmy Garoppolo gets traded. In today’s Gold Diggers podcast, Michelle Magdziuk and I looked at the Vegas odds and argued about whether the Steelers would be a good fit for Jimmy G.

I maintain that Pittsburgh makes sense for a variety of reasons. First, Jimmy himself said that he wants to go somewhere that wants to win, and it appears as if the 49ers will try their best to take his wishes into account.

After all, the team acquiring Jimmy will likely have to work out a new contract with him, which gives Garoppolo and his agent some leverage. The Steelers are not a rebuilding team. They have a championship-level defense and playmakers like Chase Claypool, Diontae Johnson, and Najee Harris on offense.

Michelle just so happens to be a Steelers fan, so she was the perfect person to ask about this theory. She disagreed.

“This is the opposite of the setup Jimmy Garoppolo had. He had a really solid offensive line this year. Really solid. He’s going to go from that to going behind the Steelers’ offensive line. I don’t know if you could name a player on that offensive line. I don’t know if most people listening could name someone on that offensive line. It’s the worst offensive line in the league, by far. And there’s not a lot of options here to get better any time soon.

Then you’re going to go from Kyle Shanahan, one of the most brilliant offensive play-callers where the scheme just gets everyone open, to Matt Canada. If he got fired today by the Steelers, no one is calling him to be an offensive coordinator anywhere in the league. He wouldn’t even get a single call, I don’t believe.

Diontae Johnson would be great with Jimmy. He can separate, he can get yards after the catch, that would be his dude. But [Jimmy G.] and Chase Claypool would be the worst combo in life. Chase Claypool can’t separate to save his life, he’s a contested catch guy. Imagine Jimmy Garoppolo trying to get the ball to Chase Claypool. How many interceptions would that be? The running game is he’s going to have no help there. It’s a miserable fit for him.”

The unofficial DraftKings Sportsbook odds have Pittsburgh as the second most likely destination for Garoppolo behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For what it’s worth, current Steelers running back Najee Harris specifically mentioned Jimmy Garoppolo when asked who he’d like to see under center next year by CBS Sports HQ.

Harris would go on to say that he wants, “Somebody who is a grinder, and who’s willing to stay late and study and really learn the ins and outs of a playbook...A leader. For me, I would want somebody who wants to win and who’s competitive just like me.”

Throw in the fact that the Steelers reside in the AFC, and this does appear to be a match made in heaven, at least from the 49ers’ perspective. Hell, he even looks good in the jersey!

Download the Gold Diggers podcast every Friday, everywhere you get your pods.