49ers' Garoppolo looks to future, gains insight from teammate Sherman originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Jimmy Garoppolo's future with the 49ers has been the subject of speculation since his second high ankle injury of the season sidelined him for the final two months of the season.
The day after the 49ers wrapped up their season with a 6-10 record, Garoppolo spoke about remaining healthy and continuing to be the quarterback of the franchise.
He said the possibility that he might have already played his final game with the 49ers has not been at the forefront of his mind.
"I honestly haven't put too much thought into it," Garoppolo said on Monday. "All those things get said, but at the end of the day, I'm a 49er. I'm here to play quarterback. I'm here to be the quarterback of this team. And every day I go out there and try to prove that to my teammates and my coaches.
"At the end of the day, that's all that really matters."
Last week, coach Kyle Shanahan said he believed Garoppolo would return as the 49ers' quarterback in 2021. General manager John Lynch declared that Garoppolo was the 49ers' quarterback.
"The people in this building, I love them. I love every one of them," Garoppolo said. "It's a great group to be around, John and Kyle. I think they've talked to the media and said what they said. And I love those guys for it. This is where I want to be, and I love it here."
The 49ers would sustain very little cap impact if they were to get out of their contract with Garoppolo this offseason. He is scheduled to earn $25.5 million in salary and bonuses next season. The 49ers could save $24.1 million on the salary cap if they were to trade or release him.
The biggest mark against Garoppolo has been his availability. He played every game last season, and the 49ers advanced to the Super Bowl, But in 2018 and '20, he missed a combined 23 games due to an ACL tear and two different high-ankle sprains.
"It's all about being out there. It's all about availability," Garoppolo said. "I know that. It's been a series of unfortunate events with the injuries, but one thing I'm excited about is getting ready for this offseason and getting the body back to where it needs to be and getting ready for next season.
Garoppolo returned to practice for the final two weeks of the regular season while the team was stationed in Glendale, Ariz.
On game days, he had a seat in a suite to watch his teammates take the field without him. He said he had the call sheet with him and went through the plays while Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard were at the quarterback position.
But Garoppolo said he got the most out of the past couple of games when he sat next to NFL All-Decade cornerback Richard Sherman, who was out of action due to a calf injury. Garoppolo said he tried to pick Sherman's brain "in a casual way."
"I told him yesterday at the game, 'Dude, I've learned so much just in these last couple weeks of talking to you.' As a quarterback, you think know defenses and you think you know what they're thinking, but now you talk to a corner who's been doing it for so long," Garoppolo said.
"It was very insightful. I learned a lot. Sherm is one of my favorite teammates I've ever been with. He's one of those guys you love to be around. Love his attitude. Love how he comes in every day. Yeah, he's one of a kind."