Over the last year, 49ers general manager John Lynch has appeared to push starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo further out the proverbial door, given his decision to draft Trey Lance with the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and a controversial tweet he liked to “leave Jimmy” behind after the team’s loss to the Titans on Dec. 23.
But on Friday, Lynch said in appearance with 95.7 The Game’s “The Morning Roast” in San Francisco that he doesn’t understand why Garoppolo doesn’t get more respect around the league.
“Sometimes people are jealous when you’re good-looking and you got the world by the you-know-what,” Lynch joked. “We’ll say, ‘Man, this guy’s too perfect.’ I don’t know what the reason is. If people knew him, it’s about as easy a guy to like as you’ll ever find.”
It's possible that the 49ers offensive scheme and commitment to run the football isn't optimal to Garoppolo's skillset.
This season, however, in 15 games, Garoppolo has led San Francisco to a 9-6 record, throwing for 3,810 passing yards and 20 touchdowns against 12 interceptions.
He helped lead San Francisco to a playoff berth for the second time in the last three seasons, playing this Sunday against the third-seeded Dallas Cowboys. Earlier this week, however, Garoppolo spoke about how the decision to draft Lance and his future contract status — he will become an unrestricted free agent in 2023 — have loomed over him.
“It's always in the back of your mind,” Garoppolo said. “It has been in mine, you know, really this whole season. Just I knew what type of season it was, knew everything that was going on behind the scenes and whatnot. So it was a little different. But, at the same time, it's like you're saying you’ve got to toe that line because you don't want to get too emotional in those moments. And you’ve just got to go play football when it comes down to it, but, the human side definitely comes into play.”
It's unclear if Lynch stopped to consider the reason that trading up to draft a QB with the 3rd overall pick and liking a tweet that was critical of Jimmy G might be the reason why the 49ers QB doesn't get more respect around the league.
Still, Lynch went on to praise Garoppolo’s poise, saying that after his tweet controversy he called Garoppolo. The quarterback easily forgave him, though, apparently saying he “knew his heart.”
Garoppolo’s career in San Francisco could very well be over if the 49ers do not win the Super Bowl this season. He is due a base salary of $24,200,000 next season, though there is increased pressure for Lance to play given his arm strength and athleticism.
For now, however, Lynch’s support for Garoppolo remains strong.
“He’s so easy to love,” Lynch said. “When we got him, that was the thing we always spoke of. He’s not a typical quarterback. You find him all the time sitting with – well, we used to sit before COVID – other people. He would always sit with the practice squad offensive linemen. Even though he’s not – the quarterback’s never just one of the guys in the building – he really is just one of the guys. I think that’s the Midwest values and the ways he was raised.”