49ers GM Says No Doubt Jimmy Garoppolo Is 2021 Starter, If Healthy

     

Asked on the Full Press Coverage podcast if there is any doubt 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo will be San Francisco’s opening day starter in 2021, GM John Lynch was definitive. 

Jimmy Garoppolo

“No. Not at all. I really believe that.”

Lynch and the 49ers have steadfastly stood behind Garoppolo despite being rumored to be in the sweepstakes for a quarterback upgrade this offseason with some of the big names available. 

But health has been a concern for Garoppolo and one Lynch acknowledged. 

“Being available is a big part of this thing,” Lynch said. “So we … probably as a stated goal … we have to insulate ourselves better. We got to have better options if he’s not there. I’ve watched people go through this in their careers where they struggled early. It happened to me early, and then I went eight years without missing a practice. So I believe things can happen, and I believe they will for him. I really believe that Jimmy is our guy.”

Garoppolo played in just six games and was hampered for part of that span with a high-ankle sprain in 2020. He helped lead San Francisco to the Super Bowl the year before that and that’s something the team brass has placed a high value on. 

However, it sounds like finding a reliable backup quarterback is on San Francisco’s shopping list this offseason. 

“When he’s healthy,” Lynch said, “he’s played at a high level. But we probably have to add someone. We probably need to improve ourselves, so if he’s not there we’re all right … we can win games.

Garoppolo, 29, is a former second-round pick of the Patriots back in 2014. The Patriots traded him to the 49ers in 2017 at the trade deadline in return for a 2018 second-round pick.

Garoppolo was in line to be an unrestricted free agent when the 49ers signed him to a five-year, $137.5 million contract during the 2018 offseason.

In 2020, Garoppolo appeared in six games for the 49ers and completed 67.1 percent of his passes for 1,096 yards, seven touchdowns, and five touchdowns.

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