The San Francisco 49ers benched Jimmy Garoppolo during the teams 43-17 loss to the Dolphins on Sunday. Garoppolo’s benching was said to protect the QB after coming off a high ankle sprain injury.
It’s hard to ignore his performance. Jimmy G finished the game 7-17 for 77 yards and two interceptions.
Two things can be right. Jimmy G wasn’t healthy, and the 49ers are not sold on him long term. There was a report that GM John Lynch tried to make a play for Tom Brady. Lynch didn’t try even to hide it. That’s not even the craziest rumor. Remember during the offseason that Kyle Shanahan was still fantasizing over possibly going after Kirk Cousins?
All of this happened fresh off a Super Bowl appearance; they could have easily won. San Francisco is struggling in 2020. Some of it is the curse of the SB hangover. Some of it is being struck by the injury bug worse than anybody. Some of it is also bad QB play.
I’ll be the first to admit; I’m a Jimmy G believer. I’m not going to jump off the ship because of one lousy game coming off an injury. He probably came back too soon. I think you can do far worse than Jimmy G. Having said that; you can also probably upgrade.
The 49ers signed Garoppolo to a five-year, $137 million contract in 2018. After this season, San Francisco can pretty much get out of the contract scot-free with no remaining guaranteed money. The point is, the 49ers can move on if they want to.
However, will San Francisco even be in a position to upgrade? Who’s going to be available? Dak Prescott is likely going to get franchised again. Ditto for Cam Newton with the Patriots. I would assume the Saints will retain Jameis Winston. There’s no real free agent outside of Jacoby Brissett, who sat behind Garoppolo on the depth chart in New England.
San Francisco will also be too good to draft the likes of Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields. At this point, you’re talking about reaching for a risky prospect or trading for Sam Darnold.
Sometimes the grass isn’t always greener. Just ask the Raiders who, for some ungodly reason, gave Marcus Mariota the bag. Then two practices in realized he wasn’t close to Derek Carr. It’s going to be a fascinating situation to monitor.