FanSided predicts Jimmy Garoppolo starts all 17 games for 49ers

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

While the 49ers want to transition from Jimmy Garoppolo to Trey Lance eventually, FanSided’s Matt Verderame predicts Jimmy G won’t lose his job this season.

It’s looking more and more like 2021 will be veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo‘s “swan song” for the San Francisco 49ers.

The proverbial “elephant in the room,” of course, is the Niners’ NFL Draft selection of rookie quarterback Trey Lance at No. 3 overall. And one can be absolutely certain head coach Kyle Shanahan will make the transition from Garoppolo to Lance as soon as he feels Lance gives the Niners as good a shot at winning games as Jimmy G.

The thing, though, is that switch might not be anytime soon. Especially if Garoppolo stays healthy.

FanSided NFL insider Matt Verderame thinks this will be the case, and he went with the prediction on his Stacking the Box feature on Monday.

FanSided predicts Jimmy Garoppolo starts all 17 games for 49ers in 2021

Garoppolo is signed through 2022, but his current contract allows for a pretty easy out with just $1.4 million in dead money for next year against $25.6 million in cap savings, per Over the Cap. And while San Francisco is entering a situation where it’ll need to generate some more cap space sooner than later, fully taking advantage of Lance’s rookie contract, Shanahan and the front office are still in a position where they can afford Garoppolo, Lance and some high-profile veterans playing on lofty contracts.

That helps set the tone for the 49ers needing to win now while also being in a position to properly develop Lance, which was Verderame’s argument:

"Trey Lance has the potential to be a phenomenal quarterback, but he needs time. While Twitter is awash with clips of Lance making incredible throws, the actual tape shows a wonderfully talented player who needs a year of seasoning.With the San Francisco 49ers competing to win a Super Bowl, Garoppolo is the choice even if he offers less upside. The Niners came within minutes of winning it all with him two years ago, and if the Eastern Illinois product stays healthy, he’s their best bet of completing the feat."

It’s fair to be fully onboard with Lance as the Niners’ future while also admitting he needs a bit more work. Both sides were revealed during Lance’s preseason outings, the phenomenal athleticism and arm strength against poorish pocket presence.

Related Story: 3 reasons Jimmy Garoppolo winds up 49ers’ Week 1 starter

Jimmy Garoppolo could lose his 49ers starting job if…

Shanahan clearly wants Lance to take over, and the sooner would be better. But Shanahan also isn’t going to rush the rookie into the fray with San Francisco eyeing nothing short but a deep playoff run.

That said, Garoppolo isn’t automatically guaranteed his starting job all year long.

… Jimmy Garoppolo gets hurt

Garoppolo missed all but three games in 2018 with a torn ACL. Ankle sprains limited Jimmy G to just six games played a year ago. And while Shanahan’s actual reasons for wanting to make the move for Lance are debatable, the official story is because Garoppolo hasn’t been able to stay on the field much over the last three seasons.

Now carrying only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, the 49ers could easily see a replication of the 2011 storyline when then-starter Alex Smith lost his starting job to an up-and-coming Colin Kaepernick after Smith suffered a concussion halfway through the season.

… Jimmy Garoppolo woefully underperforms

It wouldn’t be one bad game with two or three interceptions. But if there’s a stretch of games where Garoppolo plays poorly, both the fans and media might be clamoring for Shanahan to make the switch.

Shanahan won’t listen to the crowd noise, of course. Yet if Garoppolo’s efforts are sorely lacking, there might not be any other choice.

… the quarterback trade market heats up

No one has any clue how the quarterback trade market will look between now and the NFL trade deadline later this season.

But it’s not too hard to dial up a scenario where another team, likely one with adequate cap space and playoff aspirations, makes an offer to the Niners that Shanahan simply can’t refuse.

A long shot? Perhaps. Just remember, though, the Minnesota Vikings traded a first-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for quarterback Sam Bradford entering 2016 in the wake of losing their starter, Teddy Bridgewater, to a serious leg injury.

The point being is the market can change in an instant.

Next. 5 Niners who must get off to a hot start in 2021. dark