Last Monday night the San Francisco 49ers traded their own 2018 second-round draft pick for New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and released veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
How did we get here?
The San Francisco 49ers are a 0-8 football team and 0-3 in the division and off to the worst record in franchise history while averaging a pedestrian 16.6 points per game ranking the 49ers’ offense 26th in the NFL. And the quarterbacks that were in charge of leading the helm? The 49ers signed Brian Hoyer this offseason to be their stopgap/bridge quarterback until their quarterback of the future surfaced via the draft or trade. However, that didn’t last long, Hoyer was shown the bench in favor of third-round pick C.J. Beathard in Week 6. Hoyer was simply hard to stomach and watch while he posted underwhelming stats such as; 1,245 yards passing, 58.0 completion percentage, four touchdowns against four interceptions, three fumbles, a QBR 28.8 and a Passer Rating of 74.1.
C.J. Beathard, as of late, hasn’t look that much better, completing 52.7 percent of his passes at 5.9 yards per attempt, while throwing two touchdowns and three interceptions and a QBR of 22.5 and a Passer Rating of 65.2.over the last two-plus games, losing his starts to the Cowboys and Eagles.
The 49ers entered 2017 with Hope and Optimism
The 49ers, regardless of fans or the sporting world, or whether they want to admit it or not, came in with a lot of hope and upbeat optimism in 2017. Why? Because they came in with a clean slate and new regime consisting of a front office executive in General Manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan; both high profile additions in their own right. Lynch was a Super Bowl champion and potential Hall Of Famer. Shanahan, who orchestrated the highest-scoring offense last season with the Atlanta Falcons and was fresh off a losing Super Bowl appearance had a catchy narrative/theme pitch that inspired the “Faithful” and couldn’t be matched. “Brick-By-Brick” was the new slogan and model that would help lay the foundation of a new culture/attitude to bring this proud franchise back to the winning promise land.
Connect the Red and Gold Dots
Once you add up how the 49ers got to this point along with the pre-hype and upbeat optimism of Lynch, Shanahan, the prize draft picks of Solomon Thomas, Reuben Foster and roughly a 100 million in cap space to spend on free agents that netted some high price/profile names like; Pierre Garçon , Kyle Juszczyk , Earl Mitchell and Malcolm Smith to name a few, you can start to glue and piece together the next section of the article……..
Desperate times call for desperate measures
The 49ers did a survey recently and asked fans, “How important is winning to your stadium experience?” John Lynch wasn’t a real fan of the survey, to say the least. The 49ers are very conscious and in-tune with how the fans are taking and receiving losing, and what the product looks like on the field. Which, as aforementioned, the record and performance speaks volumes about. Have you seen shots of the empty seats at home games lately? How about the protest that started in Santa Clara?
Now add in a host of injuries: Arik Armstead, Jimmie Ward, Malcolm Smith, Garry Gilliam, Chanceller James, Ronald Blair, Aaron Burbridge, Joe Williams, Tank Carradine, Chris Jones and Joshua Garnett all ended up on injured reserve. Along with several other core players missing games due to injuries; Foster, Thomas, Joe Staley, Eric Reid, Aaron Lynch, D.J Jones and K’Waun Williams (via the team’s website).
Can you see why Hoyer was released? Why Beathard, a top third-round pick, is soon headed to the bench? And why the addition of Garoppolo had to happen before the trade deadline? Why the fans had to be given some new found hope? I think you know why; desperate times call for desperate measures.
The addition of QB Jimmy Garoppolo Creates Hope and Expectations
Garoppolo, standing at 6’2 and 226 lbs., was the Patriots’ 2014 second-round pick and owns a Super Bowl ring. In a small sample size he had a successful cameo appearance filling in for a suspended Tom Brady last season in 2016 (68.3 percent completions, four touchdowns, zero interceptions, 8.0 yards per attempt, 113.3 passer rating on 63 pass attempts), and he comes from a winning franchise and learned from one of the all-time greats in Brady and head coach Bill Belichick.
Important to note: The 49ers are now out of the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes which Niners Live told you from the very beginning back on February 23rd, 2017 was nothing more than a pipe dream. On a side note: Lynch was fired up about the addition of Garoppolo.
Draft picks that remain:
- 1st: Own pick
- 2nd: Saints pick (49ers dealt 2016 3rd to land this + 2016 7th round picks)
- 3rd: Own pick
- 3rd: Bears pick (Acquired in Bears move up for Mitchell Trubisky)
- 4th: Steelers pick (Acquired in Vance McDonald trade)
- 5th: Jets (Acquired in CB Rashard Robinson trade)
- 6th: Own pick
- 7th: Own pick
- 7th: Chiefs pick (Acquired in Kenneth Acker trade)
The addition of Garoppolo checks quarterback off the board when it comes to the NFL 2018 draft or free agency. With the 49ers still loaded with draft capital and the most projected cap room in 2018 ($117.8M per Jason Fitzgerald of Overthecap.com), the 49ers have the ability and the means to address key areas of opportunities concerning this team such as; offensive line, playmakers on the outside ala.. wide receivers, pass-rusher, cornerback and more quality depth at running back this up and coming offseason; therefore, creating higher expectations and hope amongst the fan base and the sporting world. The 49ers have to be all in with this move and surround Garoppolo with a great supporting cast and protection where he can shine and be great at the same time. And hopefully, that translates to winning games and competing for championships every year.
Is a lucrative contract soon to be on the horizon?
An Estimated guess here with Garoppolo. In the last year of his rookie 4 year $3,483,898 million dollar deal, and soon to turn 26 years young, the 49ers had to make this deal knowing they were ready and able to pony up a contract extension over 5 to 6 years potentially at an annual rate of around 20 million, at least starting. If the 49ers can’t reach a long-term deal with Garoppolo, they control his rights with the franchise or transition tag. They won’t go, Kirk Cousins year-to-year I’m sure…..
When does Jimmy Garoppolo start?
Garoppolo needs time to learn Kyle Shanahan’s system as he’s been a product of the Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels system his entire career in New England. Having said that, he should start after the bye week when Joe Staley is expected back in the lineup as the 49ers face the Seattle Seahawks at home. Which would give Garoppolo three weeks to get acclimated to the system and his offensive weapons or lack thereof.
You have to applaud C.E.O Jed York, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan for being aggressive and not standing pat and doing nothing on the eve of the trade deadline. Garoppolo was the hottest quarterback on the market the last two years and his mobility, accuracy, good footwork, quick release, above average arm strength and high football I.Q, even though it is a small snapshot and sample size, will make him intriguing to watch within Shanahan’s offensive scheme. Now, can he flourish and shake the stigma of being a system quarterback? Only time will tell. But for now, this move makes you say one thing…. GO NINERS!!!
Please join us again soon on Niners Live, the home of the faithful fan and analyst from an objective/analytical lens, of course.
All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus, 49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author, Content Creator, Editor, Sequoia Sims .