The San Francisco 49ers hadn't played a single snap this NFL season and people were already talking about where would Jimmy Garoppolo play next. He was one of the prime trade candidates this season and that situation figures to be the same next year.
The Niners traded up in the NFL Draft to land Trey Lance, perhaps the highest-upside QB prospect last year. And, albeit Lance is still a work in progress, the organization seems sold and committed to making him the QB of the future.
That's why, in the wake of the playoffs and what might as well be Garoppolo's final game with the organization, the former Patriots quarterback got kind of emotional and opened up on the uncertainty he's faced all year long.
49ers News: Uncertainty About His Future Has Motivated Jimmy Garoppolo
“These guys on this team, I love this team. I love the players. I love everything about it. It’s a good group to be around, a fun group. We want to keep this thing going for as long as we can now,” the QB said, per NBC Sports.
Garoppolo knows he's been on the trade block for quite some time and that he's not likely to be back on the team next season. However, he doesn't want that to be a distraction as the Niners look to win another ring:
“It’s always in the back of your mind,” Garoppolo admitted. “It has been in mine, really, the whole season. I knew what type of season it was, knew everything that was going on behind the scenes and what-not. It was a little different.”
“You got to toe that line because you don’t want to get too emotional in those moments,” the gunslinger said. “You just got to go play football when it comes down to it. But the human side definitely comes into play. You feel it for a little bit after the game. And I think 24 hours after that, you have to move on quickly. And we’ve done that pretty well.”
Garoppolo has fared way better than expected this season, perhaps fueled by Lance's presence. While not a showstopper or a flashy QB, he's been efficient and avoided the costly mistakes he usually committed last season. Unfortunately, that may not be enough to secure his stay in the Bay area.