Welcome to the life of the NFL rumors mill. Jimmy Garoppolo finds himself at the heart of it, one month after being minutes away from a Super Bowl win.
As the sun crept out of the clouds, rumors of the 49ers signing Tom Brady in free agency keep heating up. NBC Sports Boston's New England Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran added more information to the rumors Wednesday.
"First, Brady would love to play there," Curran wrote. "Second, as much as Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan likes Garoppolo, I’ve been told by multiple sources that he’s got some reservations about Garoppolo’s ceiling and overall decision making."
It's no surprise Brady would love to play in Santa Clara. He's a Bay Area native, and the 42-year-old saw the team he grew up rooting for blow a late lead in the Super Bowl. It's reasonable to believe Brady thinks he -- not his former backup -- can get the 49ers to hoist the Lombardi Trophy.
The second part of Curran's reporting is where things get interesting. It's understandable for Shanahan to question Garoppolo's decision making at times as the QB made some head-scratching throws throughout last season and crumpled down the stretch of Super Bowl LIV.
But ceiling? That's a whole different story. Garoppolo might never turn into an MVP candidate or even a "star" but he just threw for nearly 4,000 yards with a 69.1 completion percentage in his first full season as a starter. That came one year after tearing his ACL. He's 14 years younger than Brady, and it's safe to assume Garoppolo's best football is yet to come.
Curran's sources say Shanahan has questions regarding Garoppolo, but general manager John Lynch made his feelings on his QB loud and clear at the NFL Scouting Combine.
“We’re extremely proud of Jimmy and committed to Jimmy moving forward,” Lynch said. “He’s our guy. From the day he walked into our building, he made us better and we continue to feel that’s the case, and that’s the most exciting thing about him, is the room for growth. He has not come close to hitting the ceiling.
"I think the room for growth, the more experience he gets in this system, the more experience he gets playing, in general, we think the arrow’s up, and that’s a good thing.”
It sure sounds like Lynch believes in Garoppolo's ceiling. Star tight end George Kittle took the quarterback's side Tuesday with a not-so-subtle Instagram post, too.
For now, though, the rumors aren't going anywhere. That's just the way it goes when the G.O.A.T. is a free agent and appears ready to leave the team he has won six Super Bowl rings with.