Jimmy Garoppolo was awful in Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season. It was so bad the San Francisco 49ers now have a lot of questions to answer moving forward. Garoppolo's play cost the 49ers a title in Super Bowl LIV and he looked to have regressed against Arizona's below average pass defense on Sunday. Despite a massive financial commitment, he may not be the future in San Francisco.
At first glance, Garoppolo's numbers from Sunday's 24-20 loss to the Cardinals don't look terrible. He was 19-of-33 for 259 yards with two touchdowns. But he repeatedly made bad reads and missed open receivers, while also blowing a few throws late. On top of all that, he also almost got his top target injured with a bad throw:
That kind of thing happened all afternoon, as he missed easy, open throws and didn't spot receivers when they were open. Those are rookie mistakes that shouldn't be happening to a 28-year-old entering his fourth year in Kyle Shanahan's system.
A perfect example is what happened on 4th and 5 on the 49ers' final drive as they tried to win the game. Garoppolo had his receiver open, but threw off his back foot, didn't rotate his hips through the throw and had his pass broken up. It should have been an easy first down and given the 49ers life with 33 seconds to go.
That's basic, fundamental quarterbacking and Garoppolo failed. If he follows through and zips the ball to his target, it would have been an easy catch for Trent Taylor. Instead, Byron Murphy Jr. broke it up, securing the win for the Cardinals.
This is a huge season for Garoppolo and he needs to prove he's worthy of his job. He carries a cap hit of $26.9 million in 2021, but if the 49ers release him they absorb just $2.8 million in dead money. If he doesn't prove himself and show progression this year, you can bet he won't be around next season.
The 49ers simply don't have time to wait for Garoppolo to prove he belongs. They want to compete now and for the next few seasons. If he doesn't improve the 49ers should look elsewhere for a quarterback.