2021 feels like a defining year for the Jimmy Garoppolo era, because if he’s going to be the franchise quarterback beyond the upcoming season, he needs to, you know, be available. We recently heard from GM John Lynch, who essentially said Garoppolo is undoubtedly their guy — if he’s healthy. So that solves that, right? Wrong. Since inking a five-year, $137.5 million deal prior to the 2018 season, Jimmy G has started just 25 of 48 regular-season games and ranks ninth in most turnovers per start (1.0, min. 25 starts). Sure, he did quarterback the 2019 squad that went to the Super Bowl, but the 29-year-old has been too inconsistent and unreliable during his three-year run as the 49ers’ QB1. Plus, the organization could save $23.6 million against the cap (eating just $2.8M) by moving on from him this year. Could the Niners make a play for Deshaun Watson? It would cost a lot, but undoubtedly raise their ceiling. That dream scenario aside, Garoppolo’s contract and lack of availability could be key factors working against his long-term future in the Bay Area.
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