Agent Don Yee generally has words of advice and encouragement to clients who are going through the arduous process of rehabilitating from a severe injury.
But Yee said he has not felt the need to supply many inspirational words to 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. After all, Garoppolo seems to have things under control, Yee said on The 49ers Insider Podcast.
“I actually counsel all my clients in similar situations that all you can do is control how hard you work that particular day and you just do it over and over and over and over again,” Yee said.
“To Jimmy’s credit, he’s one of those guys you don’t really have to get on him about working hard. He comes by that naturally, so we’re excited to see how things develop here. But we also don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves.”
Garoppolo sustained a torn ACL in his left knee in the closing minutes of the 49ers’ Week 3 game against the Kansas City Chiefs when he tried to make a cut near the sideline to remain inbounds for more yards on a scramble.
Garoppolo is on pace to participate in the 49ers’ offseason program, which begins in mid-April. The 49ers intend to allow Garoppolo to participate in controlled 7-on-7 drills. He is expected to be fully cleared for 11-on-11 drills at the beginning of training camp in late-July.
Yee’s firm negotiated the blockbuster, five-year, $137.5 million contract extension Garoppolo signed a year ago with the 49ers. Garoppolo spent the first 3 ½ seasons of his NFL career with the New England Patriots before the October 2017 trade to the 49ers for a second-round draft pick. Tom Brady is Yee’s highest-profile client.
“Frankly, that was a great environment,” Yee said of Garoppolo's time in New England. “It was a great situation for Jimmy to have the opportunity to be around Tom and learn under Tom.”
Yee said he believes one of the reasons the Patriots have been so successful is because of the competitive environment that coach Bill Belichick has fostered with the organization. Garoppolo benefitted from coming straight from Eastern Illinois into such a highly charged atmosphere.
“They ask a lot of their players, not only physically but socially and intellectually,” Yee said. “And I think the intellectual part and the demands they put on their players is often underestimated.
“And so for Jimmy to be in that ultra-competitive environment every day in the same room as someone like Tom and Jacoby Brissett, who is also a very competitive guy, I think that really helped him. I’m really looking forward to seeing him this season.”