The Armchair Quarterback Volume 63: Forgotten 49ers: Your Starting QuarterBach


In a recent article from The Athletic, ABC executive Rob Mills was noted as mentioning that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo would be the kind of lead they would be looking for on The Bachelor. Garoppolo would certainly bring a healthy viewership to an upcoming season. Because, let’s face it, a lot of people want to see those high cheek bones and masculine jawline without a helmet on.

However, if Jimmy G were to appear on a new season of The Bachelor, he would not be the first member of the 49ers to be cast. That distinction goes to former NFL quarterback Jesse Palmer. Therefore, he is the subject of this week’s “Forgotten 49ers.”

Palmer was actually born north of the border in Toronto, Canada. His journey to the States came by way of an offer from the University of Florida to play football there. Palmer was at Florida from 1997 to 2000. After his senior season, he declared for the 2001 NFL draft, and was selected in the fourth round (125th overall) by the New York Giants.

Palmer took his first NFL snaps in 2002. He appeared in two games and completed three of four passes for 30 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions. And yes, he was on the team when the 49ers came back against the Giants in the NFC Wild Card game that post season.

Palmer would start three games in 2003, but would go 0-3 in those starts. He would ultimately be cut by the Giants ahead of the 2005 season. Due to injuries at the quarterback position, the 49ers signed Palmer midway through the 2005 season.

Unfortunately, Palmer did not see action and was cut after a few weeks. But the 49ers brought him back in the offseason to compete for a spot on their roster for the 2006 season. Even more unfortunately, he was cut prior to the 2006 season.

Palmer ended up heading back up north as he was signed to the developmental roster for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. He never played for the Alouettes and ended up retiring ahead of the 2007 season to get into broadcasting.

Palmer’s broadcasting career has taken him to a number of college football broadcasts on ESPN and ABC. And let’s not forget that he made a special guest appearance on an episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit in 2005.

Although his football career was short, Palmer accomplished two childhood dreams in one lifetime. He played in the NFL and he starred in a reality show. That is remarkable when you consider the odds. Although he never took a snap for the 49ers in regular season play, he will always be remembered as the 49ers’ one and only QuarterBach.

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