NFL Rumors: Niners Might Cut Jimmy Garoppolo In 2021 Offseason, Mike Florio Predicts

Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers prepares to throw a pass.
Gettyimages | Sean M. Haffey
Football

During his four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers,  quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has only played in all 16 regular-season games in one of those campaigns. Given his lack of durability and the fact that releasing him won't result in a significant salary-cap hit, a recent report from NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk suggested that the Niners' best option might be to release the 29-year-old signal-caller  during the 2021 offseason and to look for replacements before they even let him go.

Garoppolo Has Missed Almost Two Dozen Games Since 2018

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is carted off the field after suffering an injury.
Gettyimages | David Eulitt

Earlier this week, the outlet's Mike Florio assessed Garoppolo's situation in San Francisco, pointing out that he has missed 23 games over the past three regular seasons, including 10 in the recently concluded 2020 campaign. This came after the Niners reportedly passed on the chance to sign Tom Brady, who eventually joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and led them to victory at Super Bowl LV.

As further noted, rumors have long suggested that the Niners will "explore all options" when it comes to their choice of starting quarterback in 2021.

 

Here's Why Releasing Garoppolo Might Make Sense For The Niners

Jimmy Garoppolo of the San Francisco 49ers walks off the field.
Gettyimages | Abbie Parr

Given how Garoppolo is owed more than $51 million over the next two seasons and hasn’t been able to stay healthy on a consistent basis, Florio suggested that the Niners should let him go instead of trading him as most pundits expect.

“So here’s my prediction: the 49ers won’t eventually roll the dice with Garoppolo again, not at his current contract. And since they won’t be able to trade the contract, they’ll eventually cut Garoppolo — taking a cap charge of only $2.8 million,” he wrote.

Garoppolo's Production Declined Substantially In 2020

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo gets sacked by a Miami Dolphins player.
Gettyimages | Thearon W. Henderson

After leading the Niners to Super Bowl LIV, where they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, Garoppolo’s production notably declined in 2020, according to his Pro Football Reference player page. 

In six games last season, he registered 1,096 passing yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions, finishing with a QB rating of 92.4 and a 3-3 record as a starter. This paled in comparison to the 3,978 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and 102.0 QB rating he tallied in 2019.

What's Next For The 49ers If They Cut Garoppolo?

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has a conversation with head coach Kyle Shanahan.
Gettyimages | Kevin C. Cox

According to Pro Football Talk’s Florio, San Francisco can theoretically find a replacement for Garoppolo even before they opt to release him, considering how he has no contracted “trigger” that could put pressure on the organization to quickly decide. He wrote that the team’s options include trading for someone such as New York Jets signal-caller Sam Darnold, signing a free agent, or picking a rookie quarterback in the upcoming draft.

On the other hand, Florio speculated that the only way Garoppolo could stay with the Niners is if they renegotiate his contract and convince him to "[take] less, under the threat of being cut."