Barring a surprise, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will not play again this season. Which raises another, bigger question: Has Garoppolo played his last game with the Niners?
As the 49ers have dropped to 5-9 and out of postseason contention, all eyes turn toward what figures to be a busy and pivotal offseason by the Bay. And while coach Kyle Shanahan’s team has 40 players set to hit some form of free agency, it’s what happens with Garoppolo that will shape so much of what comes next, not only during the offseason but also for the future of the franchise.
“Jimmy is a very good football player and I think it’s just going to be whether Jimmy is the guy that Kyle wants for the next five years,” said Steve Young, a former 49ers quarterback, a Hall of Famer and an ESPN analyst. “We’re at a moment here where it’s not like for another year or two but, ‘Who do I want for the next five years, next eight years while I’m going to be coaching the Niners for a long time.’ … And I think it feels like there’s this moment in time where those two need to sit down and figure out how much they trust each other and how much they really fit, and if they don’t, can they conform, or is there something new that they can learn about each other that could help?”
When it comes to Garoppolo and the 49ers, there’s a lot to consider