Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports



Halfway through the NFL season, the San Francisco 49ers were 0–8 with little optimism moving forward for the fan base.

Not only were the 49ers just blown out by Philadelphia Eagles this past Sunday, but they were also left battered with injuries. Left tackle Joe Staley, running back Matt Breida, free safety Jimmie Ward, and defensive tackle Solomon Thomas each suffered injuries, with some more severe than others.

Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard was resilient last week, but with two passing touchdowns and three interceptions through two and a half games, the 49ers' front office had come to a decision. Enough is enough.

In what could be their lone "appearance" on Monday Night Football, the 49ers were the talk of the town when Adam Schefter of ESPN broke the news.


I cannot recall a more significant deal happening before the trade deadline.

Apparently, this deal has been in the works for a while, but the opportunity finally presented itself for 49ers general manager John Lynch to acquire a potential 25-year old franchise quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo. Given how horrible the 49ers have been this season, the second-round pick the Patriots acquired will likely be in the 33–36 range which is essentially a late first-round pick.

The Patriots reportedly had better offers earlier in the offseason but refused to part ways with their heir apparent to 40-year-old Tom Brady. Now with a 6–2 record and Brady being Brady, something snagged between the needs of the Patriots and Garoppolo. Only time will tell why the Patriots were suddenly willing to trade him now versus during the offseason.


Garoppolo is a 2014 second-round pick (68th overall) with a sample size of playing time that includes just two starts against the Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins in 2016 before going down with a shoulder injury. To his credit, Garoppolo was excellent — 496 passing yards for four touchdowns with a 71.2% passing completion rate — in that short span but we've seen this before with Brady's backups in the past. Matt Cassell and Ryan Mallet were disappointments with the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans, respectively. Jacoby Brissett was traded earlier this season and has been okay with the Indianapolis Colts. Is he truly a good fit for the 49ers? No one really knows in just two games.

Ideally, I'd like to see the 49ers take their time before throwing in their new-prized asset. Week 12 after the bye would be an ideal spot; they would be coming off a bye with three weeks to get him up to speed with the playbook. Hopefully, the 49ers' pass protection will also be better with Joe Staley and Trent Brown recovered from injuries. I'm expecting some bumps in the road this season as the 49ers' offensive talent is a drastic drop off from the Patriots. It won't happen overnight, but the 49ers are hoping to see flashes of Garoppolo's talents to finish the season.

With Garoppolo perceived as their quarterback of the future, I'll be curious to see how the front office treats his contract. Right now, Garoppolo's cost is low due to him still being on his rookie deal, which expires after this season. Should the 49ers sign him immediately to a long-term contract? What's his perceived market value? A franchise tag next year would be around the $23 million range.

Unlike Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, Garoppolo is still an unproven commodity. He's also four years younger than Cousins. The 49ers are projected to have $117.5 million in cap space next year and should have no problem re-signing Garoppolo to a deal — it's more so their approach.


Technically, they could give him the franchise tag and trade him to another quarterback-needy team if his half-season trial with the 49ers fails; or they could still use that franchise tag year to further evaluate him before committing long-term. Who knows, maybe the 49ers still end up with Cousins? It might be foolish to still consider Cousins as an option, but the 49ers certainly set themselves up with room to maneuver. They didn't give up a boatload of draft capital to acquire him and can still walk away unscathed; the 49ers have four picks in the first three rounds of this upcoming NFL draft.


My biggest takeaway is that the 49ers rejuvenated a 0–8 fan base with optimism--I'm indeed one of those fans ready to buy-in on the number 10 jersey. They took a calculated risk to get a potential long-term answer at quarterback with an offensive-minded head coach. Sure, the verdict is still out on Garoppolo and his two-game sample size but considering what the 49ers paid to get him, it's a worthwhile gamble. Garoppolo wanted to break away from Brady's shadow and now gets that chance in San Francisco. Enough is enough; the 49ers have their guy.