Jimmy Garoppolo helped lead the 49ers to Super Bowl LIV, missed a game-winning throw to Emmanuel Sanders and the questions haven't stopped since.
The 49ers expected Garoppolo to take a leap this season, but injuries and uneven play have only caused the talk of San Francisco moving on at the most critical position in sports to increase.
While the grass always appears greener, former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann believes Garoppolo remains the 49ers' best option at quarterback heading into 2021.
"I think he can," Theismann told 95.7 The Game's "The Morning Roast" when asked if Garoppolo can be the guy to lead the 49ers forward. "But here's the thing, and it's a great question. I get this question about other quarterbacks in the league. Here's the thing that I would ask every 49er fan and the organization has to ask themselves: If you don't [keep] Jimmy, where do you go? It's not like there is a quarterback market out there where you go, 'Wow, we can pick this guy up. Or wow we can add this guy?' You've got a bunch of backups having to start in the National Football League.
"I think Jimmy is a solid quarterback. He's almost going through the same thing Robert Griffin III went through in Washington. You get out there, you play well, you get hurt. There's a setback. You play again, there's a setback. The biggest thing for Jimmy is trying to figure out how to stay healthy. You've got to play the game with your head and then your body. But the head is the most important thing. The thing he's got to do is prove he can stay healthy enough to lead this football team. ... That's the problem with Jimmy. He hasn't been able to stay healthy enough to keep on working in the system that I believe Kyle Shanahan, one of the top-three play-callers in the National Football League, has put in place."
As the 49ers look to 2021, their options at quarterback are limited. Aside from Garoppolo, they can either look to find a franchise signal-caller in the draft, or try to trade for a high-priced veteran like Matthew Stafford or Matt Ryan to try and get them over the hump next season.
At 5-7, the 49ers currently own the No. 15 pick in the 2021 draft, which would put them out of the running for the top four quarterbacks (Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Trey Lance and Zach Wilson) in the class.
Their options then become either looking at Mac Jones or Kyle Trask, keeping Garoppolo, trading for Stafford or Ryan, or trying to acquire a reclamation project like Sam Darnold or Dwayne Haskins.
With all those options on the table, it's easy to see why Garoppolo might be the best option in 2021. Stafford and Ryan both come with big contracts that could impact the 49ers' future financial flexibility.
Garoppolo is 24-8 as a starter and has shown that, when healthy, he's an above-average NFL starter. With a good defense and elite play-caller in Shanahan, that can be good enough to get the 49ers back to the Super Bowl.
There's no doubt that the 49ers must figure out their long-term future at the quarterback position. But they might not be able to find that answer this offseason.