Jimmy Garoppolo appreciation post: A positive legacy for former 49ers QB

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

Thank you, Jimmy Garoppolo, for many great 49ers memories over the years.

After six years of service for the San Francisco 49ers, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has officially moved on.

On the opening day of NFL free agency, Garoppolo decided to take his talents to Vegas.

He signed a hefty three-year, $67.5 million with the Las Vegas Raiders, and his new deal includes $34 million guaranteed:

Garoppolo certainly deserves this new deal. After how his situation was handled last season, still coming to work every day with a professional mindset and helping lead the Niners to the NFC West title, he earned it.

Here are some highlights from Garoppolo’s San Francisco career:


Jimmy Garoppolo’s first 49ers win

San Francisco was 1-10 when Jimmy G took over against the Chicago Bears back in 2017. All 49ers fans wanted was to have a decent quarterback to lead them to a winning season. The bar was pretty low, so anything positive was considered a win.

Against his hometown team, Garoppolo led the Niners to a 15-14 win. You can watch the highlights from his starting debut here.

After his first win, he and Niners would go on to end the 2017 season on a five-game winning streak.

It would also set the tone for the remainder of his time in red and gold.

Jimmy Garoppolo’s 2019 Super Bowl run

The NFL gives out the Comeback Player of the Year award after the end of every season. Garoppolo was robbed of the award, coming back from an ACL tear in 2018 and leading his team to an 8-0 record to start the 2019 season.

This magical run gave us plenty of highlights including the Superdome Showdown. In a gusty team effort against the New Orleans Saints, Garoppolo helped the Niners to a 48-46 win. He threw for 349 yards and four touchdowns, also leading the game-winning field-goal drive. Relive the magic here.

During the 13-3 season, he threw for 3,978 yards and 27 touchdowns. Considering the 49ers had a ridiculously early bye week, to go on a 10-3 run to end the season was astonishing.

Garoppolo helped lead the Niners to the No. 1 seed in the NFC, winning both playoff games at home and a trip to Miami, Florida, for a shot at the Super Bowl.

We won’t dwell on the outcome, but without Garoppolo’s leadership and game management, San Francisco certainly wouldn’t have been in the final dance.

As we look back, we can certainly take a moment to appreciate this run considering how close they’ve been since.

“Feels great, baby.” -Jimmy Garoppolo

From the outside, Garoppolo is pretty quiet. He’s not a major social media star, he hasn’t hosted Saturday Night Live, and he’s never said much in the media to garner any sort of backlash.

But on Halloween in 2019, Garoppolo gave us the best quote of the season. It seemed like a rallying cry:

The quote became an internet sensation. Everything from memes to shirts, “Feels great, baby” was all over.

Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle bromance

Someone who really took over the apparel side due to his bromance with Jimmy G, was tight end George Kittle. The two of them were practically inseparable.

We cannot forget this classic exchange between Kittle and former teammate, Joe Staley, doing their best Canadian impression talking about Garoppolo:

The relationship between Garoppolo and Kittle was truly unmatched. Kittle always had his pal’s back through thick and thin. You couldn’t ask for better teammates.

Jimmy Garoppolo is perfect vs. the Rams

Anytime you defeat a division rival, it’s sweet. But holding a perfect 8-0 record against your most recent bitter rival is even better.

Read More: Jimmy Garoppolo’s 5 best games from his 49ers career

In his time with the 49ers, Garoppolo never lost a regular-season game against the Los Angeles Rams. He had 12 touchdowns and 2,023 yards.

For this, we can be forever grateful.

Personal Garoppolo appreciation

When I first started writing for Niner Noise, it was during the 2019 season. Garoppolo had the 49ers in the midst of the eight-game winning streak. Being able to write about a Super Bowl was a dream, and there’s no chance any of it would’ve been possible without Jimmy G.

Multiple jerseys, shirts, socks, and can koozies later, it was a privilege to cheer on a true professional. Being able to see him play on my first trip to Levi’s Stadium in 2021 was also a bucket list item checked off.

Garoppolo was also fantastic in the community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he sold “Feels great, baby” face masks in partnership with a non-profit Bay Area organization, CityTeam. The organization helps people facing extreme poverty.

When he thought the last offseason was his last, he thanked the Faithful. But now it’s our turn to raise a glass to him.

Thank you, Jimmy. For everything.

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