With joint practices between the Las Vegas Raiders and San Francisco 49ers grabbing headlines, the spotlight shone bright on Jimmy Garoppolo. Once the quarterback of one of the most feared NFL squads, Garoppolo has the distinction of having switched sides between these teams. His journey to the Silver and Black, however, is an interesting one.
Before Garoppolo took the practice field against his former teammates, he shared some insight into what went wrong in San Francisco (h/t Michael Silver).
For those of you who might’ve forgotten, things went awry when Garoppolo was still leading head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense. The 49ers were riding high, experiencing much playoff success, but, as any fan from the Bay Area will tell you, the team fell short. While many Raiders fans point to Garoppolo riding the coattails of Robert Saleh’s vaunted defense, to sell No. 10 short is, well, shortsighted.
Still, Shanahan and the 49ers’ brass decided to go a different route. Back in 2021, they drafted quarterback Trey Lance after executing one of the more lopsided trades in recent memory to move into position to acquire his services. While the Lance trade is another topic entirely, it did signal that Garoppolo would be out sooner rather than later. Garoppolo was quite candid in describing how that transpired, in particular his feelings about where he stood after the trade.
“Yeah, the (2021 season) was [really] awkward. That was tougher than this past year, honestly. You’re always gonna be dealt a hard hand at some point, and you’ve just got to make the best of it, and that’s what I’ve tried to do. That was a hard time. But I had some good people around me to lean on.”
Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t have to worry about history repeating itself with the Raiders, right?
When you combine awkwardness with a rough stretch of injuries, Garoppolo’s exit was rough, to say the least. Whether you like it or not, “Jimmy G” is back with some familiar faces in Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler. To be clear, there’s no real long-term commitment if you want to nitpick at his contract. However, things change on a whim—just ask Derek Carr.
However, unlike what happened in San Francisco, Garoppolo doesn’t have to worry about a rookie taking his job. Aidan O’Connell could be the future, sure, but according to reports, he’s not even capable of overtaking Brian Hoyer as QB2 right now. Barring an extraordinary set of circumstances, this will be Garoppolo’s offense. The big unknown in all of this is how Ziegler and Co. will approach the quarterback position next offseason. Would the Raiders draft a quarterback if Jimmy leads this team to, let’s say, 10 wins? Is he the answer past 2023?
*Top Photo: Raiders Official Website