Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have had nothing but praise about outgoing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who virtually is assured of being released or traded by the 49ers before his $24.2 million base salary guarantees on Aug. 30. While Jimmy G has cultivated a reputation of being a team-first player since joining the franchise in 2017, it turns out he might have some shortcomings in that department.
An anonymous current or former 49ers coach on the Niners staff shared an interesting nugget with new San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mike Silver, which he published in a column Thursday.
According to Silver’s source, Garoppolo ceased communication with the 49ers in 2018 shortly after signing his five-year, $137.5 million contract extension, which was the largest contract in NFL history at the time.
“Once he left that press conference nobody heard from him for weeks and weeks,” one member of that coaching staff told Silver. “He didn’t return calls, he didn’t return texts — he basically just vanished. And we were looking at each other going, ‘What just happened?’”
Silver added that Garoppolo’s extended summer absences has “become a staple of subsequent offseasons.”
There's nothing wrong with summer vacation, even in the NFL, but the complete lack of communication seems odd, if true. At least Garoppolo has admitted to being a bad communicator in the past, as he copped to being "the worst texter of all time" by tight end George Kittle.
Certainly interesting timing for this leak. The Niners have been forthright in their intentions to try and deal Jimmy G instead of cut him simply for salary cap savings, which would total $25.5 million, according to Spotrac.
WIth more than 20 coaches on the staff in 2017, it wouldn’t be prudent to play the guessing game in trying to determine who told this to Silver. But you have to assume that this coach is no longer in Santa Clara, as the comment only seems to create more questions – at least in the public eye – in the 49ers’ chances to trade Garoppolo.
Most recently, Garoppolo has been linked to the Cleveland Browns, who reportedly would be interested if Watson is suspended more than six games, stemming from allegations of sexual assault. The Associated Press reported that Watson would be willing to accept an eight-game suspension, as the NFL is appealing for a bigger punishment than six games.
Jimmy G has been spotted working out on side fields in Santa Clara while rebuilding his arm strength and it appears it’s just a matter of time before the inevitable breakup. We’ll probably never know how Silver’s story will affect Garoppolo’s situation, but it’s hard to draw any positive conclusions from it if you’re the Niners.