For months now it has seemed like the San Francisco 49ers were finished with Jimmy Garoppolo.
Following a successful Super Bowl campaign in 2019-20, both Garoppolo and the Niners regressed badly and failed to even make the postseason in 2020-21. He finished with 1,096 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions in six games played.
Some of the decline was attributed to Garoppolo being hurt for 10 games, and some to him simply not being a championship-level quarterback in the league.
Between him being mentioned in a possible four-team trade involving Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson and the lack of overall confidence the organization seemed to continuously express in him long-term, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Garoppolo’s days in The Bay were numbered.
As it turns out, there is really only one scenario in which San Francisco would consider parting ways with Garoppolo.
During an appearance on SportsCenter this past Sunday, ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler laid out the only feasible way the Niners move on from their current starter.
Now we know what motivates Steph to play so hard. https://t.co/LVXdFffc6b
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 13, 2021
“I’m told San Fran is looking at potential upgrades, but they still like Jimmy G,” he said, as transcribed by Tyler Conway of Bleacher Report. “He’s 24-9 as a starter, including the playoffs, with the Niners. They believe they can win with him, but it would take a big swing, like a Deshaun Watson effect here, to make that change.
“And I’m told that the 49ers are one of the teams that Watson’s at least intrigued by. A source said, ‘Which quarterback wouldn’t want to be in that offense on that team with all those weapons and Kyle Shanahan?’ So always a possibility, but the Texans have made clear they’re not willing to deal Watson right now. Garoppolo’s still a viable option for San Fran.”
The Niners are one of two extremely likely suitors for Watson, so obviously a trade involving Garoppolo can still happen.
That said, if the only way a deal is going down is if it involves someone of Watson’s caliber, then obviously that will substantially decrease the odds of something happening before the start of next season.