Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo might be one of the most polarizing quarterbacks in the National Football League (NFL). The 30-year-old Eastern Illinois alumnus has an impressive 33-14 record as a starter, but has modest stats at best (a career passing completion rate of 67.7 and 71 touchdowns compared to 38 interceptions).

He’s a serviceable and solid quarterback, but likely not one who is going to lead his team to a Super Bowl, although he was along for the ride last season when the San Francisco 49ers reached the NFC Championship. Garoppolo has been with the 49ers for five season and is under contract for the 2022 season, but it’s hard to imagine him playing in San Francisco this season.

Jimmy Garoppolo underwent successful shoulder surgery early in the offseason, but still wasn’t cleared as of late June. He was expected to start throwing the football again, however, in early or mid July. His recovery timetable gives him enough clearance to return to start for the 49ers, but the team is ready to hand the reins to Trey Lance.

It’s Unlikely He Starts (or Plays) for San Francisco

Jimmy Garoppolo was serviceable last season and even slightly better than average, but he didn’t elevate the 49ers. Lance, meanwhile, is a more dynamic player who gives the team a different look at quarterback.

It’s clear the 49ers want to go in a different direction and all signs point to Garoppolo being traded or released once he’s healthy. It’s believed the only reason he’s still with San Francisco is because teams can’t release injured players.

Questions About His Toughness

While Jimmy Garoppolo’s shoulder injury was a serious one, there’s rumblings around the league, specifically from his former New England Patriots teammates, that he doesn’t have the toughness or intensity required to be a top QB in the league.

“A lot of guys got mad at it,” Julian Edelman recently said of Garoppolo’s decision to remove himself from the fourth game of the season during Tom Brady’s Deflategate suspension. “I’m not going to lie, I got mad about it. I sacrificed my body all day long. I was taking shots for this, numbing up that, ribs, broken ribs, shoulders, Grade 3, hanging on by limbs just to play.”

Martellus Bennett and other former teammates echoed that sentiment.

Which Team Could He Help?

The 49ers are in an interesting position. They know what they have in Jimmy Garoppolo and can count on him to at least keep them in games. Lance, meanwhile, is a dynamic quarterback who can keep defenses honest with the run threat but lacks NFL experience; he only started two games last season.

The 49ers have the seventh-best betting odds to win the Super Bowl at +1600, but that number could go higher without the insurance of a veteran QB like Garoppolo. Conversely, it could go lower early in the season if Lance proves he’s the real deal.

There’s few starting QB positions left in the league, and Baker Mayfield is another candidate looking for an open position. Jimmy Garoppolo was rumored to go to the Carolina Panthers before the 2022 NFL Draft, but the team selected quarterback Matt Corral in the third round.

Still, Jimmy Garoppolo would be an upgrade over Sam Darnold and whatever Corral provides. He wouldn’t make the Panthers a contender, but he’d likely boost their Super Bowl odds a little.