Remember all those stories about how the 49ers were going to try to sign Kirk Cousins?
Well. They were all accurate.
On Wednesday, 49ers GM John Lynch was asked about acquiring Jimmy Garoppolo at the deadline.
"We made the trade, but then there were some days when Kyle Shanahan was like in mourning, because I think everybody knows his master plan was to have Kirk Cousins come in eventually," Lynch said on ESPN radio. "I was proud of Kyle because I think he knew that this was the right thing for our franchise and he didn't hesitate.
"But even then, Jimmy had to really prove himself. Kyle was really smart -- he didn't play him right away ... when he did put him in, he put him in a position to succeed.
"I would tell you that Jimmy really impressed Kyle, to the point where he said, 'This is our guy.'"
Yes. Garoppolo is the 49ers' guy.
The 26-year old signed a 5-year deal worth up to more than $137 million (with over $74 million guaranteed).
Cousins, meanwhile, inked a 3-year deal with Minnesota that will pay him $84 million guaranteed.
Sure, Jimmy Garoppolo would have liked to have played more during his first four and a half seasons with the Patriots. But learning under Tom Brady and Bill Belichick isn't all that bad.
What he learned in New England set him up for success with Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers.
At least that's how former Cowboys quarterback and current CBS analyst Tony Romo looks at it.
“You cannot be in a better situation early on than Jimmy,” Romo said. “He’s been with some of the best minds you could ever be around in the National Football League. He got the foundation of Bill Belichick, who probably set his routine for success for the rest of his career. He was around Tom Brady for three-plus years, learning through osmosis if nothing else. Tom’s ability at the line of scrimmage to do something, and then for Jimmy to go back and study the how and why … I am sure Jimmy saw so much subtlety that took Brady years to learn through experience. Jimmy could just see it in practice and he’s like, Oh, now I see why he did that.You get that ability to improve at a much faster rate than you otherwise would have on your own. It’s really a priceless thing for young quarterbacks to be behind a great quarterback," Romo told Peter King for his Football Morning in America column.
As for Shanahan and his abilities as a play-caller, Romo had high praise for the second-year head coach.
“And now with Kyle Shanahan, he’s getting an offensive genius. I don’t throw that term around lightly—Kyle really is. I would argue there’s three or four guys in the league who really separate themselves as head coaches or offensive coordinators getting chunk plays. You’re dropping back and you’re having a guy come open 20, 25 yards downfield. That’s a huge load off a quarterback’s shoulders for always having to produce on third down to move the chains. That’s where Kyle really separates himself," Romo told King.
Jimmy Garoppolo had five games last season to impress his new 49ers teammates. But according to one of his teammates, it didn't take very long for the quarterback to prove himself.
Tight end Garrett Celek was recently asked by Peter King when he realized Garoppolo was a keeper.
"The first time he got in the huddle with us," Celek told King this week's Football Morning in America column.
“I’d said maybe two words to him. I didn’t know what kind of guy he was. He came into the huddle for the very first time, and he talked to us and called the play like he’d been in there 10 years. It was awesome,” Celek elaborated.
In those five games with the 49ers, Garoppolo put on a show for his coaches, teammates and 49ers fans. He completed 120 of 178 passes for 1,560 yards and seven touchdowns. The 49ers won all five games. His performance in those five games earned him a massive pay day this past offseason. The former second-round pick signed a five-year, $137.5 million contract in February.