Jimmy Garoppolo will leave a rollercoaster legacy with 49ers

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The 49ers may not want or have a chance to field Jimmy Garoppolo again, meaning he’ll have quite the legacy with the team in his rearview mirror.

As Week 17 came and went, and the San Francisco 49ers entered their final stretch of the regular season with a playoff berth yet to be clinched, it looks as though the proverbial quarterback torch may finally be getting passed.

Due to a significant thumb injury to veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, suffered in Week 16’s loss to the Tennessee Titans, he already was forced out of the Niners’ Week 17 win over the Houston Texans and might have to miss San Francisco’s regular-season finale against the Los Angeles Rams, leading many to speculate his time with the 49ers may be over.

Especially if Garoppolo’s chosen replacement, Trey Lance, remains head coach Kyle Shanahan’s starter from this point forward.

If that’s truly the case, Garoppolo will leave a challenging legacy with the Niners to dissect, yet it’s one that I’m especially proud to have witnessed.

A positive personal recognition of Jimmy Garoppolo with 49ers

In order to understand where my infatuation for Jimmy GQ originated from, please come take a brief trip with me down memory lane. It’s the beginning of the 2014 season, and I had just purchased the latest installment of the world-famous EA Sports Madden football game. Coach Madden had such an influential impact on my love and ever-evolving knowledge of the sport, and think we’re all deeply saddened by the news of his passing on Dec. 28, but I’m eternally grateful to the universe for allowing his gifts to be shared with millions across the globe.

A one-of-a-kind individual with a personality so infectious it’ll leave an ever-lasting impression on your life, Madden was that guy for me, and I pray his legacy will be immortalized in the hearts of everyone he impacted.

Thanks, coach. Sleep in paradise!

Shortly after purchasing the game, I started playing franchise mode with none other than my beloved 49ers, of course. At the time of Madden’s release, San Francisco’s quarterback room consisted of veterans Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick. I prefer having three QBs on the roster but didn’t like the available options at that time.

After four games into my season, I decided to put a little trade package together and pull the trigger for a one, Jimmy Garoppolo. I made that decision based on youth and his upside trajectory.  Perhaps when San Francisco made the actual move in 2017 to bring Jimmy G to the Bay, I kind of felt partly responsible for speaking it into existence.

Jimmy Garoppolo will still leave a complicated legacy with 49ers

Regardless of the powers responsible for Garoppolo’s arrival, he’s here and has been for the past four-plus years.

Garoppolo’s tenure in San Francisco has been far from flawless, but it certainly has been the most exciting since former head coach Jim Harbaugh led the team. In almost five years, Garoppolo has an overall win record of 30-14, a completion percentage of 67.6 with 65 touchdowns to 36 interceptions. He enjoyed his best season as a pro in 2019 when he led the Niners to a berth in Super Bowl LIV.

Had the Niners kept pounding the rock with a 10-point lead, there’s a good chance Garoppolo adds another ring to his collection, as well as the franchise’s sixth Lombardi Trophy.

Unfortunately, fate had other plans for the organization, and we are now approaching the end of the Jimmy G era in San Francisco. Garoppolo has dealt with an incredible amount of scrutiny heading into 2021, and the noise has not subsided since then, particularly with the addition of Lance. Despite the fact Garoppolo had to deal with consecutive offseasons of the Niners flirting with other veteran signal-callers to bring in, or when they moved up in this year’s draft to select Lance, or even when dealing with another early season injury that forced him to miss a game, Garoppolo has maintained an extraordinary level of professionalism while providing solid production so far.

Read More: Jimmy Garoppolo has likely played his last snap with 49ers

Garoppolo’s stint with San Francisco will always be judged with mixed emotions. He was partly responsible for resurrecting a faded franchise during the dog years of transitioning. He brought excitement, charisma and leadership to a team that was still searching for an identity.

Whatever fate awaits Jimmy GQ at the conclusion of the season, I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude for his graceful services.

It’s been one heck of a ride and I’m looking forward to observing his continued success, with or without the red and gold!

Thank you, Jimmy G.

Next. 10 best quarterbacks in 49ers franchise history. dark