Jimmy Garoppolo was a free agent quarterback who lost his job when the franchise decided it wanted a higher ceiling at the position. The San Francisco 49ers drafted Trey Lance, trading draft capital to move up and secure that pick. Coming off shoulder surgery, Garoppolo quietly landed back on his feet in San Francisco on a one-year deal.
That is until he broke his foot in Week 13. But we’ll get to that.
Jimmy Garoppolo Landing Spots
Nobody came calling for Garoppolo during the offseason because of the shoulder injury, but that shouldn’t be the case heading into 2023. Garoppolo was having a career year before the foot injury sidelined him in Week 13.
Garoppolo was playing the same brand of football we’ve become accustomed to seeing, but with a much lower turnover rate than we’re accustomed to. His season was on par with his run during the 49ers’ previous Super Bowl run in 2019.
But Brock Purdy’s performance puts a damper on what Garoppolo achieved. Maybe John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan have finally found a way to create a “QB-proof” offense. Maybe they’ve just found a diamond in the rough with Purdy. Either way, Purdy’s performance certainly isn’t good for Garoppolo’s pocketbook.
While we’re still in the infancy of the offseason, a few teams should be reaching out to Don Yee regarding Garoppolo’s services.
New York Jets
Robert Saleh is not an offensive-minded coach. However, he was in San Francisco for four years and will probably replace Mike LaFleur with another of Shanahan’s disciples. Because of how Garoppolo plays the game, that is probably the best course of action.
The Jets should have a good offensive line and an impressive rushing attack once Breece Hall returns to full health. The ability to attack over the middle of the field is crucial for Garoppolo, who practically lives inside the numbers and isn’t really one to venture past 20 yards too often. With the wide receivers at his disposal in New York, it’s not hard to imagine Garoppolo replicating a large portion of the production he consistently achieved in San Francisco.
Would it be weird for the Titans to move on from Ryan Tannehill to sign the more GQ version of Tannehill? Yes, but it makes sense if Tennessee isn’t interested in Tannehill’s services anymore. Additionally, depending on the market for Garoppolo, it would probably be a net positive for the Titans’ cap situation.
No matter who the Titans hire to be their offensive coordinator, their identity isn’t changing. They’ll want to dominate the line of scrimmage, run the ball, and throw to zones that linebackers vacated to attack the run action.
Las Vegas Raiders
Could a reunion with Josh McDaniels be in store? The Raiders’ offensive line leaves a lot to be desired, which would not create much confidence in Garoppolo’s ability to produce, except that McDaniels could scheme the ball out of Garoppolo’s hands quickly.
If the Raiders retain Josh Jacobs, it would give Las Vegas a ton of offensive options, including him, Davante Adams, Darren Waller, and Hunter Renfrow. The Raiders already have a former Patriots QB on the roster, but he’s not the future of the franchise. Garoppolo would give the organization time to rebuild the depth of the roster.
New England Patriots
The Patriots are a long shot, but they shouldn’t be completely disregarded in this conversation. Is Mac Jones the future? Is he even good enough to consistently give New England a chance to win football games? The answer in 2022 was a definitive “no” without getting top-five defensive production.
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We’ve seen Bill Belichick consistently move on from players early, so it wouldn’t be unheard of for him to move on from Jones. Hell, he benched him for Bailey Zappe at one point this season. However, Jones never had a fair shake of things this season. Matt Patricia should have never been an option to be the offensive play-caller. And we all know Belichick never wanted to trade Garoppolo in the first place.
Garoppolo’s Injury History Is Concerning
How good could the 49ers have been over the past half-decade had Garoppolo actually remained healthy? In games Garoppolo started, San Francisco is 38-17. That winning percentage would rank him inside the top 10 all-time if he’d qualify.
He’s missed 38 games since arriving in San Francisco in 2017. He also missed time in New England with a shoulder injury after relieving Tom Brady. Garoppolo has injured knees, ankles, shoulders, and feet throughout the process. If you’re of the thought process that hurt guys stay hurt, Garoppolo is a risky proposition for you.