Jimmy Garoppolo’s stock with the 49ers has never been lower. After questionable performances in the postseason that culminated with a potential game-winning missed throw to Emmanuel Sanders and an offseason of his coach and GM openly flirting with Tom Brady, Garoppolo was pulled at halftime from the 49ers’ embarrassing 43-17 loss to the Dolphins last weekend for some combination of injury and ineffectiveness.
The incident was more than enough to get the rumor mill churning again. First there was Mike Florio floating the inexhaustible hypothetical of a Kyle Shanahan-Kirk Cousins reunion. That’s not one that’s likely to get 49ers fans all that excited. ESPN’s Domonique Foxworth floated a more enticing reunion on ESPN’s “Get Up,” however, projecting that Falcons QB Matt Ryan will rejoin Shanahan next year in San Francisco.
“Yes it’s his last season in (Atlanta) and next year will be his first season in San Francisco,” Foxworth said of Ryan. “Obviously he has a relationship with Kyle Shanahan, that was Matt Ryan’s best season of his career back when he was an MVP. The 49ers are not committed to Garoppolo going forward, there’s just about $2.8 million worth of dead money on his contract next year.
“I think that we could see Matt Ryan out west, and the Falcons trying to rebuild around the draft picks they get for that trade.”
Ryan, 35, has had an inconsistent start to the 2020 season, with a couple decent performances overshadowed by his team’s 0-5 start, and the recent firing of Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn. The last time Ryan played under Kyle Shanahan, however, he won an NFL MVP and had a 25 point lead in the Super Bowl before one of the greatest choke jobs in NFL history.
Ryan has just one more year of guaranteed money, $23 million in 2021, before his contract becomes year-to-year, like Garoppolo’s is right now.
“Very, very intelligent breakdown of the situation,” NFL analyst Dan Graziano said in response to Foxworth. “Because as we’ve talked about many times on this show: It’s a year to year commitment with the 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo contractually, and Matt Ryan doesn’t make a whole lot more money than Jimmy G does. Makes a lot of sense.”