Jimmy Garoppolo currently sits as one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the league, but will he overcome his history of injuries and emerge as a top quarterback?
It has been a rocky five-year career thus far for Jimmy Garoppolo, one he hopes will get smoother in 2019. His first three years in the league sitting behind Tom Brady as a backup appears to have suited him well, but since leaving New England he’s experienced some highs and lows.
After arriving in San Fransisco, Garoppolo went on streak winning the first five games that he started with the 49ers. San Fransisco rewarded Garoppolo for his immediate success with a five-year $137.5 million dollar contract. By doing so, it made him the highest paid player in the NFL during that time.
Expectations entering the 2018 season were held to high standards after Garoppolo busted through opposing defenses in the later part of the previous season. Although, his 2018 season came to a quick and abrupt end after going down in week 3 with a torn ACL, ending his season.
Just within his short time starting in the NFL, his injury history has been quite lengthy, as he’s also missed time when he was with New England when he suffered an injury to his shoulder and suffered a sprain to his A/C joint. With injuries stacking up against him, speculation starts to loom, how durable is Garoppolo to play a full 16-game season?
It’s abundantly clear when he stays healthy his talent gives the 49ers every bit of a chance to come away with a win. But the major concern is how often can the 49ers depend on him to suit up on game days.
The Miami Dolphins ran into similar circumstances in the quarterback department when Ryan Tannehill sustained constant injuries, with what felt like every season. Since then, they’ve moved on from Tannehill because of injury concerns, as he now serves as the backup in Tennessee.
Despite the five-year contract that Garoppolo signed before the 2018 season, he isn’t owed any guaranteed money after the 2019 season. Once this season comes to a close, he will have already collected his $48.7 million in guaranteed money. With that said, it makes him expendable if he doesn’t stay healthy or produce heading into his second full season under Kyle Shanahan, as the 49ers could look towards another option under center.
This seasons shapes up, in many cases, as a ‘make it or break it year’ for Garoppolo. This offseason the 49ers front office spent a large chunk of cash signing high profiled free-agents to go along with the second overall pick, where they took Nick Bosa.
With Dee Ford, Kwon Alexander, and Jason Verrett being brought aboard to help elevate the 49ers’ defensive unit, the front office and coaching staff will lean on the right arm of Garopplo offensively. In the draft, they snagged an electric playmaker with their second-round pick by selecting Deebo Samuel to provide help in the slot and outside the hashes.
It’s no secret, it’s a quarterback league, where teams live and die by the success of their quarterback. By and large, the 49ers could end up being a 9 to 10 win team with the makeup of a healthy Garoppolo, or could find themselves picking inside the top 10 of the draft if this season goes south on them.
If Garoppolo’s unable to hurdle his history of injuries and play at the level in which he’s getting paid, his time in San Fransisco could be numbered.