Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Florio: 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo has to step it up if he wants to keep his job

Jun 11, 2020 at 5:02 PM--

NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms this week revealed that he has San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo ranked at No. 20 on his list of the NFL's 40 best signal-callers. What followed, as is the case with almost any ranking, was a little debate. After all, Simms sandwiched one of last season's Super Bowl quarterbacks between Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders at No. 19 and Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns at No. 21.

Simms co-hosts Pro Football Talk Live with writer Mike Florio. The latter joined KNBR on Thursday morning and was asked about Simms' ranking of Garoppolo, and whether or not it was fair.

"Look, he was marginalized in the playoffs once he threw three passes that were all intercept-able balls," Florio responded on the Murph and Mac show. "All by (Vikings LB) Eric Kendricks. Kendricks caught one of them. It was the third one in the [second] quarter that caused Kyle Shanahan to say, 'Throw out the passing plays. Let's just run the ball until they stop us.'

"That carried over into the NFC Championship Game where Jimmy Garoppolo had Bob Griese stat lines — Bob Griese from the early 70s. Like, you know, six throws."

Leading to the playoffs, Garoppolo had one of the best regular seasons ever by a 49ers quarterback. That's saying a lot considering the team's rich quarterback history. His 3,978 passing yards ranked fourth all-time in franchise history. Only Steve Young (twice) and Jeff Garcia have thrown for more in a single season.

Oh, and it was his first full NFL season as a starter.

Florio points to Garoppolo's overthrow of wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, a pass that could have sealed a Super Bowl win, as an example of why so many, like Simms, question the quarterback.

"Just like Jared Goff last year — championship moment, championship throw, the ultimate litmus test for a quarterback. It's pass-fail. He failed, and I think he's going to have to bump himself up that list if he wants to keep that job.

"They're saying what they have to say to support their guy. They've got the financial commitment made. They thought about Tom Brady. They decided to stick with the guy they have. Unless he comes out and addresses some of those flaws, and shows the kind of performance that doesn't have Kyle Shanahan abandon the passing game, and focus solely on the running game, these rumors are going to continue."

49ers fans had to endure a whole lot of Kirk Cousins rumors in the past. This offseason it was Tom Brady rumors. Could another quarterback be the focus of Garoppolo-replacement speculation next offseason?

"And you know the guy we're going to be hearing about going into the next offseason," Florio said. "It's going to be an Aaron Rodgers homecoming that becomes the topic of plenty of speculation in San Francisco if Garoppolo doesn't take it to the next level."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Florio below.

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