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Steve Young: Jimmy Garoppolo’s situation should be ‘alarming to him’



© Joe Nicholson | 2021 Dec 5

Nobody wanted Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason.

Sure his shoulder surgery threw a wrench in things, but even so, it’s a bit shocking to consider that a quarterback who went to the NFC Championship two of the past three seasons couldn’t generate enough interest on the trade market to leave San Francisco.

Now, Garoppolo will go into the 2022 season as a backup, and it’s something former 49ers QB Steve Young thinks is a very concerning development for Jimmy G’s career.

“We know that Kyle [Shanahan], for whatever reason, has chosen away from Jimmy, he’s not interested in Jimmy as a starter,” Young said on KNBR Friday. “So he’s made that clear for three years now. ‘I’m not interested in Jimmy as a starter, that’s not what I want.’ So he’s chosen against that, we know that and we’re going to trade him and then the injury delayed everything.

“But in this era of quarterback-centric [play], anyone who can be 33-14 regardless of how you look at it, that’s somebody you want to be on the field, there’s somewhere in this 32-team league that would want Jimmy Garoppolo to start for them. To find out, despite the injury, the late start and the music stopped a little early, I understand that, but by the time he got healthy, what spots were open? In the end, that nobody was interested in Jimmy Garoppolo as a starter, for Jimmy, is a referendum that should be alarming to him.”

Not only was the situation this summer concerning for Garoppolo, but so was the fact that the 49ers organization offloaded considerable assets to move on from him two seasons ago. Young believes the difference between Garoppolo’s results and the narrative surrounding him as a player is a problem that Jimmy G has to rectify.

“And Kyle has said very very clearly ‘I love Jimmy Garoppolo as a backup.’ So that’s why Kyle is so excited, because he has Jimmy exactly where he wants him,” Young added. “As a backup. And so for me, if I’m Jimmy, whatever the narrative, the whispers around the league that is preventing him at a 33-14 record at not being able to be a starter in the league, something’s amiss that he needs to fix. He needs to figure it out. [I’d do a] Bain study (management consulting), take a $100,000 and go get a Bain test study and find out what is going on. And then whatever that feedback is, go fix it.”

Perhaps Garoppolo will get a chance to start this year should Lance falter or another starter get hurt and open up a spot elsewhere. If that doesn’t happen, Garoppolo runs the risk of being labeled as a backup caliber player moving forward according to Young.

“Use this time to go re-challenge the narrative that’s out there, because if I’m Jimmy, I’m alarmed that nobody was interested in me as a starter. And so go fix that, go make that difference, because the truth is, the 49ers have already said they don’t want you as a starter. If you don’t change the music, you’re going to have the same end result.”

Listen to the full interview below. You can listen to every KNBR interview on our podcast page at knbr.com/podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Catch Tolbert & Copes weekdays from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. on KNBR 104.5 / 680 and streaming live on KNBR.com.