If the 49ers had won the Super Bowl, there would be no discussion about Jimmy Garoppolo.
The Niners’ quarterback would be entrenched as the team’s starter. There would be no rumors about Tom Brady replacing him.
But because the 49ers stumbled late and lost to the Chiefs – and Garoppolo had a tough time late in the game – there is such talk.
And, it’s not just limited to Brady possibly coming west from New England as a free agent to replace him. Now there’s also speculation Kirk Cousins could be part of the team’s future.
Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback this week says Cousins – who had a good season with the Vikings in 2019 and once played for 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan when Shanahan was offensive coordinator in Washington – is rumored to be a possibility for the 49ers a year from now.
Wrote Breer, of Garoppolo and the speculation Brady replaces him this season: “What becomes of it, I don’t know. But I do know there’s been perception in league circles that Jimmy Garoppolo is on the clock, because Kirk Cousins is a free agent in 2021. (I still believe Brady landing in San Francisco is very unlikely, but maybe a significant return for Garoppolo would change the equation).”
Shanahan, meanwhile, has always defended Garoppolo. In just his first full season as a starter, Garoppolo led his team to a 13-3 regular-season NFC West title and the Super Bowl and had a strong three quarters before he and his team were overcome by Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
After that game, Shanahan said his support and high regard for Garoppolo was the “same as it was before the Super Bowl” and that Garoppolo had been on his way to perhaps earn Super Bowl MVP honors before the game turned.
In 2019, both QBs had solid seasons. Cousins, 31, was 10-5 as a starter, completing 69 percent of his throws for 3,603 yards, 26 TDs, six interceptions and a 107.4 rating. Garoppolo, 28, was 13-3, completing 69 percent of his throws for 3,978 yards, 27 TDs, 13 interceptions and a 102.0 rating.