The San Francisco 49ers have faith in Jimmy G.
During Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady’s free agency saga, the Niners and general manager John Lynch had to consider the possibility of signing the former New England Patriot and six-time Super Bowl champion.
Talking to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer on Monday, Lynch gave a bit more insight into how the San Francisco front office decided to stick with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as he enters his seventh season.
“We went back and took a hard look at Jimmy,” Lynch said. “We grinded for a period of three, four days. And I think we both came back and said, ‘You know what? We’ve got the long-term answer in our building right now, and we feel really strongly about that.’ As enticing as it might be—and we felt like it was a responsibility to take a look, because that’s a very unique situation—we did that, we talked with Jimmy, and told him just what we did.
Signing and starting Brady would’ve been a jarring change after Garoppolo and the Niners put together a run to the Super Bowl, but Brady’s pedigree is one that cannot be ignored.
John Lynch’s Previous Tom Brady Comments
Lynch’s comments come a couple of weeks after the San Francisco GM went on the Rich Eisen Show before the 2020 NFL Draft, where he initially discussed the potential move.
“When you’re talking about one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time with Tom Brady, of course, you’re going to have some internal discussion. And then you hear rumors that hey, he’d like to come home, that kind of thing… So of course [coach] Kyle [Shanahan] and I have discussions. We’re always into getting better, so you always look at everything, especially a situation like that.
But within a day or two, Kyle and I looked at each other and said, ‘You know what, we really like what we have in Jimmy.’ We love everything that he brings and we really believe it’s a long-term answer. I would tell you we’re more convinced than ever about who our quarterback is in Jimmy Garoppolo.”
Brady eventually signed with the Buccaneers on a two-year, $50 million deal, while the 49ers have hunkered down with Jimmy G, supporting the former Eastern Illinois QB with the additions of seven-time Pro Bowl tackle Trent Williams and Arizona State WR Brandon Aiyuk.
Jimmy Garoppolo’s Tenure With 49ers
Garoppolo started a full-season for the first time this past year, throwing for 3978 passing yards and 27 touchdowns while improving his NFL career win-loss record to 21-5.
While Jimmy G produced positively in 2019, he also threw 13 interceptions which left the Niners QB tied for the eighth-most interceptions in the NFL this season.
Lynch commented to SI about Garoppolo’s desire to fix mistakes and added that San Francisco is confident in his ability to improve.
“Every time, he puts [misses] on himself, and that’s what gives us a lot of confidence,” Lynch said. “We think there’s places in his game where he can improve and the great thing is Jimmy embraces those, and we’re gonna try to get the best out of him. And we think he’s already been tremendous, so I would leave it with that. We’re as convicted as ever about him being our quarterback and leading this organization into the future.”
The 49ers may have considered Brady as a potential option earlier in 2020, but Lynch’s recent comments have explained that San Francisco did their homework, but are excited to stick with Jimmy G.
Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering the San Francisco 49ers for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, MT. Reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier and join our 49ers community at Heavy on 49ers on Facebook.