Jimmy Garappolo fever is sweeping the country. They are already preparing a whole wing for him in Canton. I asked David Fucillo of Niners Nation for his thoughts on Jimmy G. Have the 49ers found their guy?
It's hard to say anything with certainty after two starts with the 49ers (and four career starts). That being said, yes, I think the 49ers have found their guy. Through two games (and three plays against the Seahawks), Garoppolo has been distinctly better than C.J. Beathard or Brian Hoyer. He has not faced the best of competition, but there is a distinct difference with him on the field.
The next three games will be great to figure out where he stands. The 49ers face the Titans, Jaguars, and Rams to close out the season. Garoppolo's first two starts came against the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans. They both have some positives on defense, but neither is particularly good overall. Starting with the Titans, we'll get a chance to see Garoppolo face off against some quality talent.
The question then becomes what happens with a contract. The 49ers have made it clear they are comfortable using the franchise tag this coming offseason. A franchise quarterback is going to land a nine figure contract, and we don't yet know if the 49ers are prepared to make that kind of offer. A long-term extension would likely net him over $100 million total, and potentially $50 million or more in fully guaranteed money. Are John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan prepared to give that to him with only five starts this season? That's the $100 million question, so to speak. Barring a notable downturn, I think we see the 49ers get Garoppolo signed long-term.
Here’s to hoping the Titans can raise a lot of questions for John Lynch and the 49ers on Sunday.