49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has his detractors in the Bay Area, but none might feel as strongly about him as former New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett.
Bennett, who played for the Patriots during the 2016 NFL season and the beginning of the 2017 season before retiring, joined Devin and Jason McCourty on their "Double Coverage" podcast this week, and the trio began discussing Bennett's only full season in Foxboro.
Garoppolo, Bennett and Devin McCourty were teammates on the Patriots team that went 14-2 during the regular season and went on to beat the Atlanta Falcons and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan in the Super Bowl. Jason McCourty was a member of the Tennessee Titans in 2016.
Patriots starting quarterback Tom Brady was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season due to the Deflate Gate scandal, meaning Garoppolo had to step in and start until the future Hall of Famer returned.
Garoppolo started the first two games, but after suffering a shoulder injury in Week 2, he was replaced by third-string QB Jacoby Brissett.
That's where Bennett decided to rip into Garoppolo.
"Bro, we lost two games," Bennett said to the McCourtys (H/T NBCSportsBoston.com). "One of them was because Jimmy Garoppolo was being a b---h. He decided not to play right before the game. Jacoby (Brissett) came out and played with a f---ed up thumb and played his heart out, but Jimmy was just being a b---h about it all.
"That's why he ... you can't win with a b---h for a quarterback, first of all. That was the whole thing with him: He didn't want to come out and do anything because his agent was trying to protect his body or some s--t like that. Which, I can't fault him for that. But like, you should have made that decision on Thursday. Now it's Sunday.
"So anyways, he's not going out there, so now Jacoby straps up and we lost to the Buffalo Bills. We shouldn't have lost. It was just last-minute, trying to make adjustments for what Jacoby could do."
Garoppolo, a second-round pick by the Patriots in the 2014 NFL Draft, saw very limited action in four games the rest of the 2016 season. Midway through the 2017 season, the 49ers acquired him for a 2018 second-round draft pick. A few months later, San Francisco signed him to a four-year, $137.5 million contract.
Garoppolo missed a majority of the 2018 season after tearing his ACL, but returned and helped guide the 49ers to Super Bowl LIV. He didn't play particularly well against the Kansas City Chiefs in Miami Gardens and a few late miscues cost San Francisco in a disappointing 31-20 loss.
Garoppolo again missed considerable time last season with an ankle injury, and this past offseason, the 49ers traded up to No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft to pick North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance, who they view as the successor to Garoppolo.
Garoppolo started the first four games for the 49ers this season, but a calf injury sidelined him in Week 5, leading to Lance getting his first start of his NFL career. The rookie QB suffered a knee injury and won't play Sunday night against the Indianapolis Colts. Garoppolo will be back under center after being cleared to play Friday.
Bennett's comments probably won't sit well with Garoppolo, but it's unclear if the 49ers' quarterback has any desire to respond to the fiery words.