Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo hinted Tuesday that his days with the San Francisco 49ers were numbered.
The oft-maligned signal-caller who helped the 49ers reach Super Bowl LIV and this year’s NFC Championship Game appeared to say goodbye to San Francisco fans and openly discussed his future in the league in a team conference call.
“I was talking to (general manager) John (Lynch) yesterday about finding the right destination and whatever the future holds, just doing it the right way,” Garoppolo said. “I’ve got a long career ahead of me. I’m excited about it. I’m excited about the opportunities to come.
“I just want to go to a place where they want to win. That’s really what I’m in this game for. I’m here to play football, win football games and as long as I’ve got that and good people around me, I think the rest will take care of itself.”
Garoppolo ended the Zoom call by looking straight into the camera and addressing fans of the team.
“It’s been a hell of a ride,” Garoppolo said. “I love you guys. See ya.”
Garoppolo, 30, could figure into a giant offseason quarterback carousel, driven by the retirements of Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger and the unsettled situations with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay and Russell Wilson in Seattle.
The 49ers selected quarterback Trey Lance with the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and would be able to move forward with Lance under center if they moved Garoppolo.
A second-round pick of the New England Patriots in 2014 while Brady was still in his prime, Garoppolo only made two starts for the Patriots before he was traded to San Francisco at the deadline in 2017. He took over the 49ers’ starting job late that season and notably won all five of his starts.
In 2019, his 49ers were the No. 1 seed in the NFC and fell to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. The Niners were one quarter away from making their second Super Bowl with Garoppolo last week, but the Los Angeles Rams came back from a 17-7 fourth quarter deficit to win 20-17 — aided in part by a late-game Garoppolo interception.
In parts of eight seasons, Garoppolo has played 63 games (47 starts) and thrown for 11,852 yards, 71 touchdowns and 38 interceptions. He owns a career completion rate of 67.7 percent. In 2021, the 49ers went 9-6 in Garoppolo’s 15 starts, and he led the NFL with 12.7 yards per completion. He threw for 3,810 yards and 20 touchdowns, but also tossed 12 picks, one off his career high.
Garoppolo has only played a full season once in those eight years due to multiple bouts with injuries.
He has one year remaining on a five-year, $137.5 million contract. His cap hit in 2022 is due to be just north of $26.9 million, according to the salary cap-tracking website Spotrac.
–Field Level Media