No. 1: SF 49ers Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo
Are you really surprised that I’m writing this? Let’s be real here, the entire SF 49ers organization and fanbase have come to the conclusion quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is not in the team’s future plans anymore.
I, for one, have been one of his biggest supporters over the years. But it’s hard to justify keeping him around anymore when you consider his enormous salary mixed with his sub-par QB play this season. One of the biggest knocks on Jimmy G has been his inability to ad-lib plays and make good decisions when Kyle Shanahan’s initial plans break down. Garoppolo basically proved those criticisms correct this year by constantly falling flat on his face whenever things start to become slightly uncomfortable.
San Francisco 49ers
You can blame the offensive line struggles, his injury history (which is another reason his future is bleak) or even the play calling. However way you cut it, there is one thing that is for sure: Garoppolo’s inability to move around in the pocket and extend plays is why he isn’t the answer going forward.
You may be wondering why it matters he lacks mobility when so many quarterbacks currently in the NFL are considered Hall of Famers even though they can’t scramble to save their lives. The answer is he doesn’t have the same overall skill level as someone like the Saints’ Drew Brees or Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Tom Brady to make up for his lack of athleticism.
It just makes too much sense to cut him before the 2021 season and shed his $25 million-per-year salary. The SF 49ers need to follow the current trend that is drafting an athletic dual-threat big-armed quarterback and letting them use their dynamic skill set to win games (see the Arizona Cardinals’ Kyler Murray, Houston Texans’ Deshaun Watson, Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen, Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, etc.).
It just can’t be ignored how much having a mobile quarterback alleviates the pressure for everyone on the field. The O-line can be having an off day, and the game isn’t an absolute botch because of it with a mobile quarterback. Luckily, the SF 49ers will surely lose enough games this year to be able to pick in the top 15 for the 2021 NFL draft, so they should be looking at players like North Dakota’s Trey Lance or BYU’s Zach Wilson to be their future signal-caller.
At the end of the day, Jimmy G needs to be held accountable to some degree for the utter failure that has been the 2021 season.
Garoppolo’s future in San Francisco is definitely doomed, but it doesn’t mean his time with the team was a failure. He still led the team to a 13-3 record and to the Super Bowl in 2019, all while reaching career highs in every single QB stat. I hope I’m wrong here, but it just seems like a certainty there will be a new face of the franchise beyond this year.