Why the 49ers Need to Upgrade at Quarterback – Sports Illustrated

Posted: February 25, 2021 at 1:52 am

The 49ers are 22-8 with Jimmy Garoppolo as their starting quarterback.

From the moment he took the field in a lost season in 2017, he injected the franchise with hope. There was excitement for the 49ers because of how he led the team to five consecutive wins to close out the year. Ever since Garoppolo did that, there has been this notion that he is the 49ers' best option at quarterback.

That could not be further from the truth.

The reality is that the 49ers need to upgrade at quarterback.

Garoppolo is serviceable. He is not terrible, but isn't relatively profound in anything as a quarterback. Garoppolo cannot do anything better Ryan Fitzpatrick, and I mention Fitzpatrick because he is a free agent. The 49ers could cut Garoppolo and sign Fitzpatrick without much of a drop off.

If anything it will be an improvement because Fitzpatrick can maneuver around in the pocket unlike tap-dancing Garoppolo. Not to mention all the massive salary cap relief the 49ers would get to take care of their other players.

Actually, scratch that. I'd like to amend a previous statement. There is one thing Garoppolo is profound at and that is missing games. Garoppolo has missed more regular season games (23) than he has won (22).That should make any sensible person who pays attention to the NFL pause.

Why is it whenever his glorious winning record as the 49ers' starter gets thrown out that his games missed gets coincidentally left out?Availability is crucial for a quarterback. A team can overcome time missed from other positions, but once the quarterback starts consistently missing games, being successful becomes almost impossible.

When Garoppolo is healthy, the 49ers' offense starts to function. But therein lies the issue -- "when Garoppolo is healthy." Anytime that needs to be said about any player, especially the starting quarterback, the team has a MAJOR issue. When the quarterback misses time, all of a sudden a lot of flaws start to emerge around the team. The quarterback is supposed to help mask those flaws.

Unfortunately, it is Kyle Shanahan that has to cover up for Garoppolo.

Then again, in order for Shanahan to cover up for Garoppolo, he would need to be healthy. And the odds of that happening feels like winning a round of roulette. The 49ers need to upgrade at quarterback because Garoppolo is only a part-time starter. And even when he is out there, he does not uplift the team around him.

That is just the reality and given how his contract is holding the salary cap hostage, he is hurting the 49ers more than helping. When the draft comes around, you can bet your bottom dollar the 49ers are going to have their fingers crossed that a top prospective quarterback such as Justin Fields falls so that they can trade up for him.

Otherwise, Garoppolo will undoubtedly be the starter in 2021, and everyone will cringe when he gets hit.

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Why the 49ers Need to Upgrade at Quarterback - Sports Illustrated

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