© Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
To his credit, Jimmy Garoppolo has taken an incredible amount of flak for a guy who nearly won a Super Bowl and has won 75 percent of the games he’s started in his career, and handled it well. And for all the talk about trading him away for another quarterback this offseason, he’s still here, and remains that relatively even-keeled guy.
It’s that personality that probably eased the 49ers’ brass a bit when deciding to move up for Trey Lance. Garoppolo, though highly competitive, is exceedingly low maintenance. He’s a normal guy with a decent sense of humor and is well-liked by his teammates.
He joined the Murph and Mac Show on Tuesday to discuss the offseason, how he was told the 49ers would be trading up for a rookie quarterback, and how he dealt with all of that.
In many respects, Garoppolo said it wasn’t new. He said he’s been hearing rumors and talk about himself for his entire career. But there were teeth to the trade talks this offseason and he admitted he’s been motivated by it.
“You can’t listen to everything but you know when something real does happen you have to react to it properly,” Garoppolo said. “I want to say it’s just white noise, but it definitely motivates me, I’m not gonna lie. That’s the competitor in all of us. You hear things like that, at the end of the day there’s only one quarterback out there but you want to go compete and do whatever you can to be that guy, so it’s kind of a motivator in the back of your head.”
About a month before the draft, the 49ers made their move, trading three first-round picks and a future third-round pick for the Miami Dolphins’ 3rd overall selection. Garoppolo got the news via FaceTime, apparently the only way Kyle Shanahan communicates with his players.
“I think it was Kyle that called me first,” Garoppolo said. “He FaceTimed me, we talked about it. He pretty much laid everything out for me and was very straightforward. John called a little while after I think and those guys, they were very honest about the whole thing, the whole situation and kind of told me what was going to happen. And it’s one of those things, I was ready for the competition. I just really wanted that opportunity when I was talking to John. I was like, as long as I get to go compete and this isn’t just something else, I’m cool with it. So, you know, being on an NFL team, you always want to bring in the next best player and someone that could be with you and push you to make you better to at the same time.”
He wasn’t any more informed than the rest of us. Garoppolo said he heard it could be any of the three of Mac Jones, Justin Fields and Lance “and everything in between.” He found out, like everyone else, by watching the draft.
His sole ask of the front office, he said, is the opportunity to compete for the starting job.
“As long as I have that opportunity and I’m given a chance like that, that’s all you can really ask for as an athlete or anyone in a line of work, you know, you just want an opportunity to go put your best foot out there and put your best self out there and that’s all I’m asking for. So Kyle and John are giving me that opportunity, and it’s my job to go earn it now every day in practice, every day on the field, weight room, whatever it is just go out there and be that guy.”
Listen to the full interview below: