Touted as the successor to Tom Brady as the face of the NFL, Jimmy Garoppolo’s once-bright future is looking very uncertain.
As we head into this week’s NFL draft, rumors are swirling around the San Francisco 49ers quarterback. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has poured onto the fire by not publicly backing Garoppolo in his recent interviews with the media.
Three reasons why the 49ers are moving on from Jimmy Garoppolo
So what happened for the relationship between Garoppolo and the 49ers to sour? Here are three reasons why the 49ers are moving on from the quarterback.
#1 - Injuries
Since Garoppolo signed with the 49ers in 2017, he has missed 23 regular-season NFL games. He became an instant star after leading the franchise to five straight wins to end the season.
In Week 3 of the 2018 season against the Kansas City Chiefs, he tore his ACL and missed the rest of the season.
He bounced back in 2019, leading the 49ers to a 13-3 record and a place in the Superbowl against eventual champions the Chiefs.
However, the injury bug returned in 2020. Garoppolo suffered two high ankle sprains. The first in Week 2 against the Jets, which led to him missing the next two games.
He reinjured his ankle in Week 8 against the Seattle Seahawks and missed the rest of the season. Garoppolo's durability has been a big concern for the 49ers.
#2 - Production
Jimmy Garoppolo ranks 16th in the NFL in Total QBR since joining the 49ers in 2017. When you dig into his numbers further, you quickly see why Kyle Shanahan is looking for a new QB.
In his three seasons with San Francisco, Garoppolo has thrown 46 touchdowns and 26 interceptions. He averages only 7.1 yards per pass, which is tied for 40th in the NFL.
Jimmy G had a spectacular 2019 season when he threw for 3,978 yards and 27 TDs. While the 49ers made it to the Superbowl that year, Garoppolo struggled in the post-season. In the championship game, he threw two costly interceptions that cost his team dearly.
In three playoff games for San Francisco, he has a QBR of 75.9, with two touchdowns and three interceptions. A pretty subpar return.
#3 - Money
One of the main reasons the 49ers are looking to move on from Garoppolo is money.
The San Francisco 49ers signed Jimmy Garoppolo to a 5-year, $137.5 million contract extension in 2018, with $90 million guaranteed. At the time, it was the largest contract in NFL history.
The quarterback is due $25.5 million this season and $27 million in 2022. He however is not due any guaranteed money, so If the 49ers cut him now they would save $22.7 million in salary.
They could look to trade him and hope to get back some future draft picks but with his hefty salary this looks unlikely. By drafting a QB in the first round, the 49ers will save significant money at the position.
A rookie-scale contract will be much lower than Garoppolo’s $26.4 million cap hit and help give the 49ers flexibility moving forward.
The 49ers moved up ten spots in the draft, signifying that they are picking a quarterback. The 49ers could keep Jimmy Garoppolo for this season to give their rookie quarterback a chance to learn from the sidelines.
A trade could happen during the draft with another NFL franchise looking to upgrade at quarterback. It looks more likely that Garoppolo will simply be cut by the Niners and the quarterback will be looking for a new team before the 2021 season begins.
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