31 Dec In a Deep QB Draft Class, is it Bye Bye Jimmy?
Jimmy Garoppolo, one of the most polarizing 49ers players to date, has ultimately caused division within the fanbase.
With his inability to stay healthy, as well as a hefty price tag (27 million against the salary cap) General Manager John Lynch and the front office have a big decision to make with Garoppolo’s future.
One aspect that makes his future murky: the NFL draft. If the 49ers lose to the Seattle Seahawks, they will likely be picking between the 10th-13th overall picks (with the help from some other teams).
In a draft class that is oozing with QB talent, the 49ers will have a decision to make: keep Garoppolo, or draft a rookie.
The team is in prime position to either trade up for a prospect, such as BYU’s Zach Wilson, or OSU’s Justin Fields. If they do not go this route, they can sit back and take a prospect with fantastic tools in North Dakota’s Trey Lance, although he opted out of the college football season due to COVID-19.
Personally, I am on the fence about all three prospects. Trey Lance hasn’t played in over a year, Zach Wilson has a decent track record of injuries, and Justin Fields comes from a university that has historically produced sub-par QBs. All of them however, have a lot to offer at their respected position.
One thing is for certain though: Drafting a QB will have better long-term effects for the 49ers.
With over 40 upcoming free agents, including star left tackle Trent Williams, as well as full back Kyle Jusczcyk, the 49ers will need to scrounge around for as much salary cap as possible to retain the majority of their roster. The team is projected to have around 22 million in cap space.
Cutting Garoppolo would propel the team to roughly 45 million in cap space, which would be plenty to bring back Williams and other key pieces of the team.
On the flip side though, if the team does move on from Garoppolo, this will only create even more uncertainty, as Nick Mullens is slated to be a restricted free agent, and C.J. Beathard is going to be an unrestricted free agent.
The front office has always remained vague in their operations. Whether it be injuries, trading players, signing players, etc., the group is never open about what they plan on doing with the team.
Because of this, it has led to 49ers fan creating the ultimate debate: Is Jimmy worth it?
On one hand, fans seem to notice Jimmy’s flaws as a QB, aside from the injury history. The other side of the argument, see’s the results of the team when he is healthy, which includes a dominant 2019 season, and a trip to the Superbowl.
The overall debate can be broken down into essays, podcasts, videos; basically, any form of media that can be used to express opinion, that’s how polarizing Garoppolo is.
It is shaping out to be a long and tumultuous offseason for the team, spearheaded by numerous questions at the quarterback position.
Whatever the team does, however, will likely have long-term effects on the team’s overall success. If Kyle Shanahan genuinely believes in Garoppolo, then I believe that he will likely return for another run. Barring injury, Garoppolo would likely bring the team back to the playoffs. But, if Shanahan finds that his inability to accurately push the ball down the field, as well as the turnover-worthy plays he tends to commit, then Garoppolo may be on his way out.
Only time will tell what the team will do, but if anything is certain, it is that the front office won’t make the official move until draft day. Whether it’s by releasing him, trading him, or keeping him, the answers will be revealed as the offseason moves along.
For now, however, we can only speculate and wait anxiously, as the team slowly but surely addresses each position group, one by one.