After a tough loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC championship this past Sunday, the 49ers find themselves with many questions surrounding their once Superbowl runner-up roster, beginning with their quarterback. Jimmy Garoppolo has been a target for blame following the game, something he’s gotten used to since joining the 49ers in 2017. Injuries have derailed three of his five seasons since then, missing a total of 34 games due to injury in that span. When healthy his play has been mediocre at best, ending the 2021 season with a 20-12 touchdown to interception ratio and a quarterback rating of 98.7.
While Garoppolo may not be putting up gaudy stats like most fans would like, he has been winning games when healthy, leading the 49ers to two NFC championships since 2019, and winning one. He also boasts a 45-18 career record as a starter including his three year tenure with the patriots, primarily serving as Tom Brady’s backup.
However, the question that remains, is Jimmy G holding the 49ers back from grasping a Superbowl victory? The Niners organization and head coach Kyle Shanahan seem to not be fully sold on Garoppolo, selecting quarterback Trey Lance out of North Dakota State with the 3rd overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. Lance offers versatility that Garoppolo doesn’t posses, a huge arm and 4.5 speed which could be the final piece in taking the 49ers all the way.
Garoppolo has one year left on his five year deal but if the 49ers do opt towards passing the torch over to Lance then a trade is very possible. Teams like the Saints, Broncos, Texans, Steelers, and now the Buccaneers with Tom Brady announcing retirement, are all in the market for potentially acquiring a quarterback. If the 49ers do stick with Garoppolo through the 2022-2023 season then he is an unrestricted free agent the following season.