Jimmy G doesn’t look so handsome anymore after an atrocious interception ended the 49ers’ season in heartbreak Sunday, and it is a foregone conclusion that he will be shipped elsewhere in the offseason.
San Francisco 49ers fans know this feeling of blowing a 10-point fourth quarter lead on the National Football League's grandest stage, considering the exact same thing happened in Super Bowl LIV two years ago nearly to the exact same day. And while a lot of other things went wrong in the fourth quarter of the 49ers' excruciating 20-17 NFC title game loss Sunday (Dropped interception! Helmet-to-helmet penalty! A questionable decision to punt on Fourth and Two!), the game will forever be remembered among 49ers fandom for a horrendous loss-sealing interception allowed by Jimmy Garoppolo (Trigger warning: That link has video of the interception).
Nobody, and I mean nobody shits the bed with a ten point lead in the 4th quarter in a giant game like Jimmy Garoppolo— Jim Murray (@bigjimmurray) January 31, 2022
We will all conveniently forget that Garoppolo has had a fantastic tenure with the 49ers since his arrival in 2017. Since that Halloween day 2017 trade that brought him here from the Patriots, the 49ers are 35-16 in games that Garoppolo started — and 8-31 in games that someone other than Jimmy Garoppolo was the team’s starting quarterback. But as KGO reports, 49ers fans are heaping blame on Garoppolo for the loss, and as one fan who made the trip to LA told KGO, “All I got to say is Jimmy Garoppolo got to pack his bags and he got to go home. He got to go."
#49ers Jimmy Garoppolo went 3 for 9 for 30 yards and INT in 4th quarter. In 6 playoff starts Garoppolo has a 28.0 passer rating in the 4th, ranking last among 69 QBs w/ 30+ 4th quarter passes in playoffs since 1991— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) January 31, 2022
And many 49ers fans did make the trip to L.A., once again taking over Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium, making the stands awash in red jerseys, and forcing the Rams’ offense into a silent count on their own home field in the championship game, a situation that CBS analyst Troy Aikman called “embarrassing” for Los Angeles. 49ers fans, you certainly did your part, and the Rams organization's humiliation at their stadium being “Levi’s South” is likely to endure well beyond this season.
But Jimmy Garoppolo is not likely to endure in a 49ers uniform beyond this season. The writing has been on the wall ever since the team selected Try Lance No. 3 overall in the draft in April, but one of the goddamned awfullest looking interceptions ever certainly sealed that deal.
Last question for Jimmy Garoppolo? SF QB obviously emotional after what was likely his last game with the team. pic.twitter.com/JZGL883z4i— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) January 31, 2022
“I got no regrets from this year,” Garoppolo said after the game, at what was certainly his final press conference as a 49er. He cut it off himself, graciously and with a smile, saying, “Thanks guys” and walking away while there were clearly more questions to be asked of him. Instead of barking additional questions like reporters usually do, they softly said “Thank you Jimmy,” being as deferential as if his grandma had just died.
Jimmy Garoppolo is 1 win away from starting his 2nd Super Bowl in 3 years & his team is trying to replace him.— Barry (@BarryOnHere) January 26, 2022
Football is so odd.
Even if Jimmy Garoppolo had won the Super Bowl this year for the 49ers, he would almost still be getting traded in the offseason. As the Examiner explains, “The team would have to pay him $27 million to stay [next season]. If they trade him or release him, they’d only be on the hook for about $1.4 million.” The Niners traded two first-round picks for the pick that ended up being Trey Lance, so that fellow is not going to just sit as a backup. Jimmy is now prohibitively expensive for the franchise, it is unconscionable to not play Trey Lance, and as the cherry on top, Jimmy threw an interception so bad that it justified ending his 49ers career.
That interception may make you think that Jimmy Garoppolo is worthless. That is incorrect. The guy just took a team to within one minute and twenty seconds of the Super Bowl. Jimmy played his way up to being worth at least a second round draft pick, or a quality starter, or more. That will be his real legacy with the 49ers.
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 30: Obo Okoronkwo #45 of the Los Angeles Rams pressures Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers in the third quarter during the NFC Championship Game at SoFi Stadium on January 30, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)