The 49ers ‘may be done’ with Jimmy Garoppolo: NFL exec

The 49ers ‘may be done’ with Jimmy Garoppolo: NFL exec

November 14, 2020

This could be Jimmy Garoppolo’s last season in San Francisco.

Sources told The Athletic that the oft-injured 49ers’ signal-caller is on thin ice with the team nine months removed from a Super Bowl appearance in February.

“I’m selling stock,” one offensive coach told the outlet.

“I think he may be done in San Francisco,” an NFL executive said. “And if they keep him, it’s only because they don’t have another option.”

Despite the swirling reports of Garoppolo’s future, general manager John Lynch has continued to support the quarterback.

“I think the elephant in the room: everybody wants to know about Jimmy,” Lynch told KNBR 680 on Friday morning. “Here’s what I know about Jimmy Garoppolo, and I’ve been consistent: We’re a better team when he’s out there. We win a lot when he’s out there and we’ve struggled to win without him.

“We’ve got a lot of belief in Jimmy. As a scouting staff, always going to be thorough and work our tail off to scout all the players and be prepared for anything. … I’ve got a lot of belief in Nick, still. He’s got to operate at a high level for us to be successful.”

Moving on from Garoppolo, who joined the 49ers midseason in 2017 via trade, would be a drastic move bereft of better options on the current depth chart. It would also be shocking in light of the five-year deal worth up to $137.5 million he signed ahead of the 2018 season, which was the largest contract in NFL history at the time.

“People can pick his game apart,” Lynch said. “A lot of this year, Jimmy probably hasn’t played up to his standard and he’s been somewhat compromised with his health since he had that high ankle in the Jets’ game.”

The 2014 second-rounder has struggled this season battling injuries, most notably an ankle injury he re-aggravated in Week 8 which landed him on injured reserve. He has completed 94 of 140 pass attempts for 1,096 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions through six games this season.

“The most encouraging thing was that his recommendation, which was in line with our orthopedist, was he didn’t need surgery right now,” Lynch said. “Do you do what they call a ‘tightrope’ on or do you leave it alone?”

Garoppolo, 29, earned two Super Bowl rings as Tom Brady’s backup during his tenure in New England. He sat out most of the 2018 season with a torn ACL, but made a strong return in 2019.

The Eastern Illinois product completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 3,978 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and was runner-up for the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year award. He helped lead the team to a 13-3 finish and all the way to Super Bowl 54 before faltering to the Chiefs.

The 49ers currently sit in last place in the competitive NFC West division at 4-5. Backup Nick Mullens will get the start on Sunday against the Saints (6-2) in New Orleans.

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