Jimmy Garoppolo, 3 other quarterbacks under pressure in 2021

Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots embraces Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots embraces Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

Jimmy Garoppolo is now feeling the heat from the 49ers’ top draft pick, Trey Lance, but he’s not the only quarterback under pressure to deliver in 2021.

There should be two kinds of teams in the NFL.

Ones that have franchise-elite quarterbacks and ones who should be searching for franchise-elite quarterbacks.

The San Francisco 49ers are hoping they’re transitioning from the latter phase into the former. This, after admitting their veteran quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, isn’t the long-term answer and by the subsequent selection of rookie signal-caller Trey Lance at No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Time will tell if the Niners are correct in this transition. But unlike other teams that drafted quarterbacks awfully high in the draft, situations where rookies are merely pushing out stopgap options, Garoppolo has the chance to sing his proverbial “swan song” in San Francisco in a big way.

In doing so, he might set himself up for exceptional success elsewhere.

It’ll be important for Jimmy G to respond well to the increased pressure of Lance, but he’s not the only quarterback around the league feeling the heat this season.

No. 4: Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers

Garoppolo hasn’t been in a competitive situation like this since he was quarterback Tom Brady‘s backup with the New England Patriots. While the 49ers are intent on letting Garoppolo start in 2021, giving Lance all the time he needs to develop, there’s no covering up the fact they want Lance to take over the reins as soon as he’s ready.

If Garoppolo flames out early this year, there will be no shortage of calls for the Niners to insert their top draft pick into the lineup.

More importantly for Garoppolo, though, the long-term ramifications could have a significant impact on the remainder of his career. Turning 30 years old this November, it isn’t as if Jimmy G is getting any younger. And while he’s still technically under contract through 2022, any team potentially willing to trade for him between now and next season would have to ask itself whether or not it’d be worth taking on the $25.6 million potentially owed to him post-trade next year.

If Garoppolo balls out, the answer is likely yes. And it would influence whatever contract Jimmy G signs in 2023.

But if Garoppolo stumbles this season, few teams would be willing to make the trade, and even fewer would be remotely willing to pony up that kind of cash.

For Garoppolo, there’s a lot of money on the line here.