No. 1: 49ers Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo
Yes, you knew this was coming.
Three of the 49ers’ four losses this season aren’t necessarily all on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. But at this point in the year, it’s safe to say Jimmy G is coming nowhere close to elevating Kyle Shanahan’s offense to the level it needs to be to make up for the team’s shortcomings elsewhere.
And when one factors in the cold hard reality Shanahan spent all offseason trying to find a replacement for Garoppolo, capped off by the Niners’ aggressive trade-up to land rookie quarterback Trey Lance in this year’s NFL Draft, it’s safe to say Shanahan and Co. will move on from Garoppolo in the not-so-distant future.
Maybe Shanahan makes the switch from Garoppolo to Lance in the near future, too, especially with the offense in desperate need of a spark.
Sure, this could potentially mean San Francisco has a $26.4 million backup quarterback for the rest of the season, assuming it retains him to both support and mentor Lance. More likely because there isn’t a trade partner willing to take on Garoppolo’s huge cap number.
Regardless of that, though, the 49ers aren’t going to pay Garoppolo’s 2022 salary, which is scheduled to be worth up to $27 million.
Even if Garoppolo was to play at a Pro Bowl level this season, his days in a Niners uniform won’t last into next season. At all.