The San Francisco 49ers have been searching for a starting quarterback ever since they parted ways with Colin Kaepernick last offseason. And it appears that they now have their franchise quarterback after trading a 2018 second-round pick to the New England Patriots for Jimmy Garoppolo.
Many thought that New England was grooming Garoppolo to be the successor to Tom Brady. However, this obviously isn’t the case now that he’s on the Niners.
The San Francisco 49ers haven’t been a very good team this season. In fact, they’re 0-8 and have already replaced their opening day QB Brian Hoyer with unheralded rookie C.J. Beathard. Hoyer has since been cut by the team.
Beathard, a third-round pick last April, isn’t exactly considered the future of the franchise. Instead, this is Garoppolo’s position to take over. But the question remains when will the 26-year-old will start? And what will he do for the 49ers when he does play?
Let’s answer both of these questions while discussing how San Francisco’s odds will change with Garoppolo under center.
Why did 49ers Make the Garoppolo Trade Now?
The New England Patriots were in a tough spot with Garoppolo. They could’ve either let him walk in the offseason, or franchise tagged him for $21.3 million. Neither option was particularly attractive when considering that Brady is still at the top of his game at 40 years old.
The Niners also could’ve tried to get Garoppolo or Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins in the offseason. But general manager John Lynch chose to pull the trigger and bring in Garoppolo now.
The timing works well because San Francisco needs a franchise quarterback any way possible. Virtually guaranteed a top-5 pick at this point, San Francisco could have gone for a signal caller in the 2018 NFL Draft. But why take a chance when you can get somebody who’s already considered to be a strong pro talent?
Sure, Garoppolo doesn’t have an abundance of stats to prove his worth. Taken in the second round of the 2014 Draft, the Eastern Illinois alum has only started two games. But it’s worth mentioning that Garoppolo posted a 2-0 record with 690 passing yards, 5 touchdowns, and zero interceptions while filling in for Brady.
The only problem is that he won’t be playing within Bill Belichick’s winning system. But many have faith in first-year head coach Kyle Shanahan to build the 49ers back up again. Garoppolo should appreciate playing under Shanahan when considering that the latter led the Atlanta Falcons’ elite offense last year.
The coach won’t commit to when exactly he expects his new quarterback to take the field.
“I can’t promise you guys that he won’t play this week,” Shanahan told the media. “I can’t promise you guys that he’ll play this year.”
GM John Lynch Speaks on Garoppolo Trade
Lynch is excited to have Garoppolo aboard and gave a statement to the press about what he expects from the new arrival:
“We are thrilled for Jimmy to join the 49ers family. Jimmy is a player we have researched extensively since Kyle and I joined the 49ers. I am extremely pleased this came together today, and we all think it is a big win for our organization.
“Albeit in limited game action, Jimmy has displayed the characteristics and traits that we believe are vital to being a successful quarterback in this league. He has had the rare opportunity to sit and learn from a future Hall of Fame quarterback in a championship atmosphere. We look forward to Jimmy joining the team tomorrow and hitting the ground running.”
49ers Odds with Garoppolo at QB
It’s almost a guarantee that Garoppolo won’t play this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. This means that Beathard will once again get another start. And this isn’t a good thing either because Beathard has thrown for two touchdowns, three interceptions, and has completed just 52.7% of his passes.
I certainly don’t buy Shanahan’s assertion that he doesn’t know if Garoppolo will play this season. But he also doesn’t want to put his potential franchise QB on the field without proper time to study the new system.
If Beathard can get a win against the Cardinals this week, he’ll likely start another game while Garoppolo continues to pick up the new offense. But as soon as he loses, look for Shannon to use this as an excuse to put Garoppolo under center.
It’s to the Niners’ benefit to get him some reps during a lost season. This way San Francisco can get some more pieces through the draft and free agency to help their quarterback succeed in the future.
Odds are that San Francisco will become a player again in the NFC West, which has become increasingly tougher with the LA Rams experiencing a resurgence.
But for now, the goal is to simply lay the groundwork and prepare for a successful 2018.