Jimmy Garoppolo

Shanahan: Garoppolo's two starts do not impact contract situation

jimmy_g_shanahan_usatsi.jpg
USATSI

Shanahan: Garoppolo's two starts do not impact contract situation

Jimmy Garoppolo has thrown for more yards than any quarterback in 49ers history in his first two starts.

But 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo’s play has not changed how he views the contract situation that must be addressed before the start of the new league year in March.

The 49ers acquired Garoppolo in a late-October trade with the New England Patriots. He is under contract only through the end of this season. The 49ers will retain Garoppolo with the franchise tag if the sides are unable to reach agreement on a multi-year deal.

“For me personally, it doesn't impact anything,” Shanahan said. “I thought it was so neat about the situation that I didn't feel that, because of that (franchise) option, that we had to see something here or there, and we had to do all this stuff.

“It's been able for us to just try to do things the right way, put him in when we thought he was ready to, not put any pressure on him where he has to do all this to show something. Obviously, we're very encouraged with how these two games have been.”

The 49ers must designate Garoppolo as their franchise player at any point from Feb. 20 to March 6. Last year, the one-year cost for a franchise player at quarterback was $21.268 million.

In leading the 49ers to back-to-back road victories, Garoppolo threw for 293 yards against the Chicago Bears and 334 yards against the Houston Texans. Garoppolo is scheduled to make his first home start on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans at Levi's Stadium.

“We'll see what happens here in the offseason when we get together and can assess everything,” Shanahan said. “I definitely don't think that’s something he's thinking about at this point, and it's definitely not something I'm thinking about, either.”

Shanahan said he does not anticipate the sides working out a contract extension during the final three weeks of the regular season.

The Cult of Jimmy is already in full swing

cult_of_jimmy_usatsi.jpg

The Cult of Jimmy is already in full swing

It’s been two games and one series. It’s been 74:43 of playing time, 143 plays, 822 total yards, 643 passing yards, 48 points, three touchdowns, nine field goals, seven punts, 43 first downs and a rating of 92.7. Mostly, it’s been two wins in two weeks after two wins in the previous 64.

So yes, the Cult Of Jimmy is already in full swing.

San Francisco 49er fans have always been thus, going back four generations. They have wanted to love their quarterbacks instantly and fervently, until they decide to hate them. Frankly, it has a bit of creepy about it.

And now, based on those numbers over those two games and that one series, it is the Cult of Jimmy.

Yes, Garoppolo. As though you needed to ask.

People who are late to the Bay Area think this is logical fandom, applying simplistic notions like “Well, he’s better than the guy he replaced,” or “they haven’t been very good, and he represents hope.”

But that’s not it. It’s airborne, passed by dreamy-eyed ravings in taverns and at the office and the loading dock and the store floor. It’s pathological. It cannot be resisted. It’s aggressively peculiar to 49er fans in ways that no other fan base endures.

And the thing that makes it worse is the notion that Garoppolo is also considered by some of our more adamantly superficial citizens as handsome/pretty/borderline hot. That adds romanticism to the cult, which really does veer the whole movement toward the outskirts of Creepytown.

And yeah, it is exactly that, so don’t deny it. People did this with Colin Kaepernick, and Jeff Garcia, and Steve Young, and Joe Montana, and John Brodie and Frankie Albert too. It is a rite of passage for 49er fans, and the people in the middle of it don’t think it’s happening when it is in full bloom.

But here’s what changes it, when it can be changed at all: So-so performances in the next three weeks against Tennessee, Jacksonville and the Los Angeles Rams. Three clearly superior teams (though Tennessee doesn’t exactly fill the heart with the same dread as the other two) that can test the 49ers in ways that neither the Chicago Bears nor Houston Texans could.

If Garoppolo reverts to the NFL quarterbacking mean in those three games, then he will move from cult object to argument starter, the way Kaepernick and Alex Smith did. But if they win two of the three, and especially if one of the two wins comes against the Rams, the Cult of Jimmy will become a full-on Montana-level religion. It will take on its own life with its own costumery (49er jerseys with the number 10 will challenge Kaepernick and even Montana jerseys), and woe to anyone who argues against it by pointing out that just as two games is too small a sample size, so is five.

In short, the next three weeks may or may explain the 49ers to you, but they will certainly explain the full effects of the Cult of Jimmy. It is the 49er Way that no slogan or marketing campaign can ever capture.

Mariucci: Now, 49ers can build around Garoppolo

jimmy_g_usatsi.jpg
USATSI

Mariucci: Now, 49ers can build around Garoppolo

The 49ers’ rebuilding project gained its most important piece with the late-October trade that delivered quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from New England, former 49ers coach Steve Mariucci said.

Appearing on The 49ers Insider Podcast, Mariucci, now an analyst with the NFL Network, said the team is in a better position for next season than it would have been if a top rookie -- such as USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen, Wyoming's Josh Allen or Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield -- were to be drafted as the quarterback of the future.

“There’s clarity with at least one position in the building,” Mariucci said, “and that’s not to say C.J. Beathard doesn’t have a career in the National Football League. I believe he does. But, right now, it looks like Jimmy Garoppolo is the guy. And he’s a good guy. And he’s a worker. And he’s ready to do this.”

With back-to-back victories since Garoppolo took over the starting job from Beathard, the 49ers are currently in the No. 3 position in the draft. The 49ers can look to fill other positions now that quarterback is no longer a priority.

“With Jimmy Garoppolo, he’s so much further along than those young kids, having sat behind Tom Brady in New England and throwing the ball so much at Eastern Illinois,” Mariucci said. “He comes further along than any rookie ever will. And so that’s why it was such a good, solid move.”

Garoppolo has completed 66.7 percent of his pass attempts, averaged 9.0 yards per attempt with two touchdowns and two interceptions and a 92.7 passer rating since joining the 49ers.

“And the style of quarterback he is is a good fit for Kyle Shanahan’s offense,” Mariucci said. “You can move him around with some play-action, keeps and movements. He can extend plays with his legs. He’s not the quite the same athlete as Russell Wilson, but he’s still very mobile. He can do most everything.

“I just like the whole thing. It makes a lot of sense. Now, they can build their team around him.”