Jimmy Garoppolo: 4 questions 49ers QB must answer over rest of 2021
By Peter Panacy
No. 1: What legacy will Jimmy Garoppolo leave with 49ers?
There’s going to be no shortage of Niners fans who’ll look back on Jimmy Garoppolo with a good deal of disdain, and underperforming and oft-injured quarterback who cost the team a lot of money and only partially delivered.
His supporters, of course, will point out his five-game win streak to close out 2017 after being acquired at that year’s NFL trade deadline, then focus on his 2019 Super Bowl campaign that saw him toss 3,978 yards, now fourth best in a single season in franchise history.
It can’t be argued Garoppolo gave stability at the position. His serious injuries in 2018 and 2020 negate that.
Yet San Francisco was notably better with him under center than it was without him. While accounting for “quarterback wins” in of themselves is a silly stat (there are 52 other players on the roster, after all), Kyle Shanahan went 25-12 with Garoppolo as a starter through nine weeks of 2021 and all previous years compared to just 7-28 without him under center.
Even if Garoppolo was far from elite, he was better than anything the 49ers had between 2017 and 2020.
Fans may never totally come around in his favor as they did with former Niners quarterback Alex Smith, whose own tenure with the team was marked with headache and controversy before his late surge in 2011 and the first half of 2012.
Or maybe they will. That part is hard to predict.
At any rate, what we do know is Garoppolo will leave a long and complicated legacy once his days with San Francisco are officially over.