The San Francisco 49ers look like they are going to be one of the best teams in the NFL heading into the 2022 regular season. But, like every team in the league, they had some things on their to-do list during the offseason that they were unable to cross off.
Early on in the offseason, San Francisco made a big decision at the quarterback spot. After having Jimmy Garoppolo as the starter the last few seasons, they decided that the job would be Trey Lance’s this year.
It was a move that was coming sooner or later as San Francisco traded up in the 2021 NFL Draft to select Lance No. 3 overall. It is a big risk as Garoppolo has helped lead the team to the NFC Championship game twice in the last three years, advancing to the Super Bowl once.
Alas, Kyle Shanahan believes that Lance gives the 49ers their best chance at getting over the hump and winning a Super Bowl. The roster around him is very strong, so he won’t be tasked with carrying the team on his own.
This decision also put Garoppolo in a bit of an awkward spot. The team attempted to trade him, but there were some hurdles they were unable to overcome. Garoppolo was owed a ton of money, which not many teams were able to afford. He also underwent a procedure on his shoulder that cooled his trade market.
That has led to Garoppolo remaining on the 49ers roster and some rumors were swirling that the team was going to cut him if a trade wasn’t reached. Instead of getting cut, Garoppolo agreed to restructure his contract to remain with the team.
That decision is one that drew a strong response from Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s First Take. Smith was critical of the decision that Garoppolo made to ensure that he could remain in the Bay Area.
Garoppolo is certainly equipped to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. He may not boast the gaudiest stats, but he certainly gets it done in the most important category, which is winning games.
As Smith pointed out, Garoppolo is 33-14 in his career as a starter, a winning percentage very few players have ever achieved. While he wasn’t looked at as a starter this off-season by teams around the league, that could certainly change next off-season.
If he had remained healthy, things could have been different this off-season. There were plenty of teams in the market for a starting quarterback but went in a different direction because of his health and price tag.