It wasn’t long ago that Jimmy Garoppolo led San Francisco to their first Super Bowl appearance in seven years. The 49ers quarterback goes into the new season fighting for his job and needs a good year to guarantee his future with the franchise.
The 49ers were linked with a trade for Green Bay Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, earlier this summer. There were some reports suggesting San Francisco made a trade offer just before the NFL Draft, however, this was rejected. Rodgers is now set to remain with the Packers for the 2021/22 campaign, though many pundits expect him to then leave the franchise and look for a new home. Given their interest in the reigning MVP, it would be no surprise to see the 49ers try to secure the 36-year-old if they decide to move on from Garoppolo.
San Francisco are currently +650 in the NFL betting odds to win the NFC Championship and +1400 to go one place better and win the Super Bowl in February. With a strong roster, particularly on defense, the franchise will have high expectations, which puts a lot of pressure on Garoppolo’s shoulders.
In 2019, Garoppolo played all 16 regular-season matches, with his team ending with a 13-3 record. The quarterback had 27 touchdowns and threw for 3,978 yards: it was those numbers that justified why the franchise offered him such a lucrative contract to join them from the New England Patriots.
Garoppolo played just six games in 2020. It was a stop-start season as an ankle injury kept him out for long periods of time. In the matches he did play, he won three and lost three, which meant that there were some overall mixed performances from the 29-year-old.
Trey Lance Could Be Fighting for Starting Quarterback Job
The 49ers did a trade with Miami Dolphins to move up to third on the board in the 2021 NFL Draft, which allowed them to select quarterback Trey Lance. Head coach Kyle Shanahan is thought to be a big fan of the former North Dakota State player.
Lance played just one game last season. A year earlier, he had 28 touchdowns and threw for 2,786 yards in what was an impressive campaign. Rather than play his final year in college football, he opted to make himself eligible for the draft in the NFL.
The 49ers chose Lance over a number of highly-rated quarterbacks, including the likes of Mac Jones and Justin Fields. He’s their highest-drafted quarterback since Alex Smith joined them in 2005, which shows how desperate they were to secure the player who could be the future of their organization. Lance has signed a four-year deal with San Francisco. It’s expected that he’ll shadow Garoppolo this season, however, if the starting quarterback doesn’t deliver, Shanahan could turn to their new recruit.
Garoppolo will know what’s at stake this season: if he can remain fit and find the form of 2019, he’ll be able to prove his critics wrong. It’s likely to be his last chance to prove himself in San Francisco as he goes into 2021 under the clock.