Stephen A. Smith: 49ers Are Champs With Aaron Rodgers Instead of Garoppolo

GETTY Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers shakes hands with Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers after winning the NFC Championship game at Levi's Stadium on January 19, 2020 in Santa Clara, California. The 49ers beat the Packers 37-20.

Since the end of Super Bowl LIV, the debate over Jimmy Garoppolo and his value within the San Francisco 49ers roster has been a consistent drum beat of the 2020 offseason.

The latest to throw their hat in the ring? Stephen A. Smith and Dominque Foxborough. The pair recently talked on ESPN morning program First Take, this time including Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers as part of the conversation.

If Aaron Rodgers was the quarterback in the Super Bowl instead of Jimmy Garoppolo,” Smith said. “The San Francisco 49ers are the champions right now. They’re the champions right now. With those weapons, with Aaron Rodgers? They’re the champions.”

Similarly to Jimmy G, Rodgers has also seen speculation over his future this offseason. The Packers drafted Utah State QB Jordan Love as an apparent successor to Rodgers, which have prompted some to ask how long the two-time NFL MVP would continue to play in Green Bay.

Considering that Rodgers is from California and played for the Cal Bears, the connective tissue also makes for an interesting idea that Rodgers could eventually join the 49ers if Garoppolo doesn’t live up to expectations in 2020.

Foxworth’s Comments on Jimmy G

Smith was actually tacking on to what Foxworth said on the matter in regards to the idea that Rodgers would be the perfect quarterback for San Francisco.

“I know San Francisco has Jimmy Garoppolo, but that’s a situation where I think Aaron Rodgers, given his history in California and the Bay Area, San Francisco could use Aaron Rodgers,” Foxworth said. “He’s not missing those spots, those passes that Garoppolo missed. I think Aaron Rodgers in San Francisco, that’s a match made in heaven.”

Garoppolo and Rodgers went head-to-head twice last season, with the two games ending in a 49ers victory, but with an interesting contrast in terms of performances.

In the 37-8 game last November, Garoppolo finished with 253 yards and two touchdowns after linking up with wide receiver Deebo Samuel and tight end George Kittle. Meanwhile, Rodgers only totaled 104 yards and a touchdown as the San Francisco defense ran rampant over Green Bay.

In the NFC Championship rematch, Jimmy G threw just eight passes, completing six for 77 yards. This stat is often brought up to show that Garoppolo didn’t contribute much to the 37-20 win, but considering how dominant running back Raheem Mostert and the running game was, it was truly unnecessary for the QB to do much more than run the offense.

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John Lynch’s Recent Comments on Trading Garoppolo

Whether or not one thinks Garoppolo should be the 49ers quarterback, the fact is that San Francisco general manager John Lynch said that the team considered looking elsewhere for the QB position in 2020.

“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.

While they did consider the possibility, Lynch’s word also are a resounding conclusion: the 49ers considered their options, and have decided that Jimmy G is the long-term plan for the franchise.

READ NEXT: 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo Was Most-Blitzed QB in 2019 NFL Season

Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering the San Francisco 49ers for 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.

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