Jimmy Garoppolo is set to miss more time this season due to the high ankle sprain that's been bothering him since Week 2. Given Garoppolo's performance this year and his contract situation, the 29-year-old quarterback could be in his final few months with the San Francisco 49ers.
Garoppolo was very good in 2019 and appeared to justify the five-year, $137 million contract ($90 million guaranteed) San Francisco gave him. He utilized the fantastic weapons at his disposal effectively despite struggling with turnovers. He also led the 49ers to the Super Bowl, where he collapsed late, helping the Kansas City Chiefs come away with the Lombardi Trophy.
The version of Garoppolo we saw in the Super Bowl is the version we've seen in 2020. During the 2019 regular season he completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 3,978 yards, averaging 8.4 yards per attempt, with 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. In 2020, he's completing 67.1 percent of his passes for 1,096 yards, averaging 7.8 yards per attempt and has thrown seven touchdown passes and five interceptions. He has regressed across the board.
That's bad news for Garoppolo as the 49ers face a big decision this offseason. If they decide he's not the future of the franchise, they can cut their quarterback and only face a cap hit of $2.8 million in 2021 and $1.4 million in 2022. That would save them $24.1 million in cap space in 2021 alone. If the 49ers keep him, Garoppolo will cost $29.6 million against he cap.
When you look at the NFL landscape a few quarterback should be available via trade during the 2021 offseason. With the Jets heading towards the No. 1 pick, would they be willing to trade Sam Darnold out West to give 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan a new project? Or would the Atlanta Falcons be willing to trade Matt Ryan and reunite Shanahan with the guy he guided to Super Bowl LI? There are other possibilities out there that include selecting a young quarterback in a QB-heavy draft class.
The 49ers have options moving forward and one of them is dumping Garoppolo and starting over with another quarterback. The problem is, San Francisco has a roster built to compete now and resetting things with a new signal-caller might not be the smartest move.
The next few months should be fascinating for the 49ers.