Following the 49ers‘ disastrous 31-7 loss to the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game, Head Coach Kyle Shanahan made clear during his end-of-season press conference that the former starter won’t be rejoining the San Francisco huddle in 2023.
When asked if he saw any scenario where Garoppolo may return, Shanahan didn’t beat around the bush with his response. The answer was direct and to the point.
“No,” Shanahan said. “I don’t see any scenario of that.”
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that this is the way things will end for Jimmy G. For whatever reason, he’s never really been anointed ‘the man’ there.
Despite his fair share of success, the longtime signal-caller was always seemingly the man on the outside, looking in.
Shanahan and the ‘Niners have clearly been ready to move on for a while now.
That became even more obvious when the team selected quarterback Trey Lance with the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. It was a message to Jimmy G. that he may want to start thinking about seeking employment elsewhere.
Immediately after San Francisco’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game last season, Garoppolo said his goodbyes to San Francisco. Things got complicated, however, when Garoppolo had shoulder surgery in the offseason. That made it difficult for the 49ers’ plans to trade him, so the veteran quarterback decided to take a restructured contract to stay on and serve as Lance’s backup.
Multiple injuries during the season would see third-string QB (and the 2022 NFL Draft’s ‘Mr Irrelevant’) Brock Purdy forced into the starting role. He responded by going 5-0 down the stretch and guided the team all the way within one step of the Super Bowl.
However, Purdy was injured in that game, so he will spend the offseason recovering. That means it will likely come down to a training camp showdown between him and Lance for the number-one spot.
That leaves out Jimmy Garoppolo, who could be on the radar of a team looking for someone who can step in and start right away.
With Garropolo so unceremoniously making his exit from the franchise, Pat McAfee discussed the whole situation on his show this week. In particular, McAfee and his crew talked extensively about the deteriorated relationship between the offensive engineer and his head coach.
McAfee asked the panel where they thought things went wrong between the two sides.
“They drafted his replacement, and anointed him before (Jimmy G) did anything wrong,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport stated. “So, I don’t know that he doesn’t like them, but it is time to move on.”
Rapoport said that the team may be cutting ties with their former quarterback, but that doesn’t mean they still have all the answers at that position yet. They still must find an answer from what they have remaining on the roster.
“I think for (the 49ers), you have Trey Lance, who we don’t know what he is. We have Brock Purdy… thinking going into surgery is six months. If it’s not six months, then you have to say what other options do you have?”
The analyst said that Purdy’s recovery should be on a finite trajectory.
“In three months, you can throw. And then the next three months you’re good. If that’s the case, then I believe they stick with Purdy. And Jimmy goes one of many places.”
At just 31, Jimmy Garropolo will already be looking to join his third NFL franchise, after stints with New England and, of course, the ‘Niners. He has a 40-17 career record as a starter.
Finally, Rapoport did indicate that Garropolo is one of the top quarterbacks available in this offseason behind Aaron Rodgers and Derek Carr.
Rapoport stated, “I think, probably, Carr goes first, just timing wise because I think that’ll — if he’s free before everyone else, my guess is he’ll be signed before free agency. That’s an amazing advantage.”
“People like Jimmy G. They think very highly of him. It’ll be somewhat expensive. You’re probably looking at 30, 25, 30. So like real contracts. So if you sign him: this is our starter for two or three years maybe,” he added.