Making the Case: Six Reasons the 49ers Should Keep Jimmy Garoppolo this Season
“With the third pick of the 2021 draft, the San Francisco 49ers select [First_Name Last_Name], quarterback from [College_Name].”
Those are the words that will resonate for decades in highlight (or lowlight) videos – whether because the 49ers picked their franchise QB, or because they drafted a colossal bust.
John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan acted swiftly and decisively in making a risky franchise-altering move that will seal their legacy with the San Francisco 49ers.
So why should the 49ers keep Jimmy Garoppolo for another season with their QB of the future on the roster? Buckle up!
1. Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract is affordable
Yes, the 49ers will likely need to move on from Jimmy next season and create some cap room to re-sign several star players such as Fred Warner. This will also be when a big chunk of George Kittle’s contract kicks in.
This year however, the 49ers have once again perfectly maneuvered the cap thanks to Paraag Marathe’s trademarked dealing and wheeling. They can afford to keep Jimmy while also adding more free agents.
Why keep Jimmy if they draft another QB though? This leads us to our next point.
2. Help develop the rookie QB
Yes, rookie QBs are more NFL-ready than ever before.
Yes, Justin Herbert looked like a magnificent stallion coming out of the barn last year despite the best efforts of COVID-19 to stall training camp practices.
However, this offseason is different.Most college programs were impacted with limited games and practices last season.
Also, a big portion of the initial off-season activities will likely need to be conducted virtually. It will be difficult for a rookie QB to:
A.) Learn the complex Kyle Shanahan offense (I still have nightmares hearing Matt Ryan give play calling examples), and,
B.) Get acclimated to pro-football level of play after a difficult college season last year.
This is specifically true whether the 49ers select Trey Lance (played only one game last season) or Justin Fields (played only six regular season games,plus two playoff games).
Jimmy can help bridge the transition and allow the 49ers to redshirt the rookie as they get more comfortable in an NFL environment.
3. Boost Garoppolo’s trade value
There are two ways to look at this:
Jimmy’s value is currently at an all-time low. Not only because he is coming off an injury-plagued season, but also because he did not look good in the few games that he played.
Allowing him to run it back for a full season with an improved offensive line and (hopefully) healthy teammates will boost his trade value for next offseason. Or even this year!
By keeping Garoppolo (or making everybody believe so), the 49ers are essentially boosting his trade value during this very offseason, telling his potential suitors that they can’t just wait for Jimmy to get cut. They will need to make an offer.
4. Garoppolo has a no-trade clause
Obviously this is something Jimmy will be flexible with, especially if a team like the Patriots come knocking on the door.
But until then, Garoppolo can dictate what team he will agree or disagree to be traded to – which will limit the 49ers’ options.
Next offseason, however? The no-trade clause will become void and the 49ers will be able to gauge the most valuable offers in the market.
5. There is time
The 49ers are in absolutely no rush to trade Jimmy yet.
Sure, they could save money and make some room with their salary cap – but most prized free agents are no longer available and there aren’t any significant holes that the draft can’t fill.
The 49ers can wait until the trade deadline in October until an interesting offer comes through from a desperate quarterback-needy to keep their playoff hopes alive.
6. The Jordan Love conundrum
I know, I know. I highly doubt this would happen – But what if the rookie QB ends up being another Jordan Love?
Keeping Jimmy Garoppolo would allow the 49ers to have the flexibility to move on and try to recoup as many of their losses as possible.
This would go along these lines: “Yes, we really like the rookie, but oh my God did you see Jimmy play this year? He’s definitely our quarterback and we want to keep our options open. Unless – is anybody interested in trading for our rookie?”
It is in the 49ers’ best interest to let everybody know they are holding onto Jimmy for a least another year. I do not believe that Jimmy will be on the roster after draft night, but there are some benefits to keeping him.
Jimmy is also a professional and is beloved in the locker room. No player will oppose in him being the starter and if he can get back to his 2019 self, the 49ers will have a good problem on their hands for next offseason.
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