The San Francisco 49ers are preparing for life after the 2022 season, and that looks like it won’t include quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Garoppolo has been the preferred starting quarterback in San Francisco since joining the team in 2017 in a trade from the New England Patriots. In those 5 years, the 49ers went to two NFC Championships and a Super Bowl, with Garoppolo starting 45 of the games along the way.
However, reports from NFL insiders have long said that the 49ers are planning to trade Jimmy G this offseason. On February 1, head coach Kyle Shanahan, general manager John Lynch and Garoppolo all spoke to the media in their final addresses about the 2021 seaoson.
Obviously, Garoppolo and the 49ers fell short in the NFC Championship and that’s disappointing for both the organization and fans. But for Jimmy G, a sour note didn’t prevent him from sending what ESPN reporter Nick Wagoner calls a “final message” to San Francisco fans to close out what may be his last press conference as a 49er.
“To the faithful,” Garoppolo said. “Thank you very much for everything. It’s been crazy man. All the comebacks at Levi’s, the comebacks on the road, ups and downs, it’s been a hell of a ride. I love you guys. See ya.”
Garoppolo may not have raised a Lombardi Trophy as a 49ers player, but many fans think he’s forever earned the respect of the “faithful” and the organization.
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49ers Fans Respond
The message from Garoppolo was generally well-received online, with a large majority of 49ers fans sending their thanks and returning the love to Jimmy G.
“Thanks for everything,” @vitorcampsilva wrote. “Thank you for being so professional, and for honoring red and gold during these 4 years. You were one of those responsible for making us relevant again. I’ll keep my jersey with your name on it forever Jimmy!”
Another fan offered a brief “good luck” but shared a montage that generated 100+ likes in the replies to the 49ers’ clip of Garoppolo’s message.
Other Niners fans pointed out that they appreciated Garoppolo navigating the 2021 season as he did. Rather than force the issue after Lance was drafted, Garoppolo hung around and nearly earned another trip to the Super Bowl.
“I got a lot of respect for Jimmy on the way he handled this season,” said @ahernandez7880. “Wish you the best on the Niners or another team. Thanks for being apart of this organization.”
One reaction image that might best sum up what Garoppolo fans look like right now came in the form of wide receiver Deebo Samuel’s expression at the end of the NFC Championship.
Shanahana Doesn’t Rule Out Jimmy G Coming Back
Based on the message and tone of Garoppolo’s presser alone, the expectation is that Garoppolo is definitely being traded. However, Shanahan and Lynch both spoke on his future and didn’t rule out a world where Garoppolo is around.
“If we knew exactly what was happening, we would have told Jimmy [Garoppolo,]” Shanahan said. “We have the ultimate respect for Jimmy. And we’re excited about Trey… It won’t be easy, but I’m happy about that. It means you have the best scenario going.”
Things can definitely change, although it appears unlikely. But if Shanahan and Lynch are leaving the door open, Garoppolo back in the 49ers’ huddle this upcoming fall isn’t out of the realm of possibility.