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Steve Smith says Jimmy Garoppolo is ‘not a franchise QB,’ failed when it mattered



© Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve all seen plenty of Jimmy Garoppolo, and it appears we’ve also seen the last of him as a 49er.

Everyone has their takes about who Garoppolo is as a quarterback. Some folks point to his wins. Others point towards uneven, sometimes disastrous performances.

On some occasions, you get folks from both camps. That’s what happened on Wednesday as Steve Smith Sr. joined the Murph and Mac Show during Super Bowl week.

Smith, a lifelong 49ers fan — who brought up that the 49ers drafted Vinnie Sutherland over him — did not hold back on how he views Garoppolo.

He intimated that the way the 49ers’ offense failed to take consistent deep shots, with “limited throws,” was an indication that Kyle Shanahan didn’t view Garoppolo as his guy.

“To me, that’s not a franchise quarterback,” Smith said. “He threw his 49ers career away on the last play against the Los Angeles Rams.”

Brian Murphy responded to that criticism, asking Smith if he believed a team would trade for Garoppolo and give him the chance to be their starting quarterback.

“Yeah, and then he’ll be sitting on the bench or getting replaced, like is going to happen now,” Smith said. “Quarterbacks are hard to find, but you also can’t hide their deficiencies, because generally quarterbacks who have huge deficiencies show up in a big games [in ways] that you don’t want them to show up.”

“Jimmy gets a hall pass because he he studied under Tom Brady. He don’t play like Tom.”

“They won a lot as a team. Don’t sugarcoat it and make it seem like that man was out there willing his team [to victory].”

Murphy called that a “strong take,” which Smith denied.

“It’s not a strong take,” Smith said. “It’s football. It’s facts. I’m not shading him or upset.”

“I’m just saying that at the end of the day, we look at, what did he do at the critical times? At the most operable times, he did not win the game that counted, which is to go to the Super Bowl.”

Smith said Garoppolo is a quarterback who will perpetually leave you wanting more.

“Jimmy Garoppolo is Elvis Grbac,” Smith said. “My point is, you always hope that he’ll turn the corner.”

Listen to the full interview below, starting around the eight-minute mark. You can listen to every KNBR interview on our podcast page at knbr.com/podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Catch Murph and Mac weekdays from 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. on KNBR 104.5 / 680 and streaming live on KNBR.com.