Whatever the reason is, people just don't want to believe Jimmy Garoppolo is as good of a quarterback as the numbers and accomplishments suggest.
Yes, Garoppolo has been snake-bitten with injuries during his career, but when he has been healthy, he has been a good starting quarterback.
Current free agent and former 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman remains baffled as to why so many don't believe Garoppolo is responsible for the success he's had both in New England with the Patriots and as the 49ers' starting QB.
"That's a great question, I wish I knew," Sherman said Wednesday on ESPN's "First Take" when asked why the national opinion of Garoppolo is low. "I think people just -- in every offense blame the system when he has success. When he was in New England it was [Bill] Belichick, you know, he is winning because it's the system and it's Belichick. And then he gets here and they are like, 'It's Kyle [Shanahan], it's the system. That's why he's winning. He's not doing anything special, he's just hitting the open man, he's just reading the defense and taking what the defense gives him.'
"That may be true but then you see other quarterbacks in the offense, in Kyle's system not as effective, not as efficient. And you're like, maybe he's something special. Maybe there is something to him being really good at what he does, being really fast in his mind and able to read defenses and diagnose things really quickly. And i don't think he gets enough credit and I think it's just people wanting to downplay his talent regardless of what he does. You know, he took a team to a Super Bowl and it was like, 'Well it wasn't him. It was the defense, the D-line, it was [Raheem Mostert], it was Deebo [Samuel], it was this.' I think some players just get that rep and can never shake it."
Garoppolo was sensational during the 2019 season, throwing for 3,978 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions while leading the 49ers to a 13-3 record and a berth in Super Bowl LIV.
But Garoppolo has missed 23 games over the last three seasons, including 10 games in 2020 due to high ankle sprains, so the 49ers elected to make a move to secure his successor, moving up in the 2021 NFL Draft to select Trey Lance at No. 3 overall.
Lance is talented but still only 20 years old and played in just 17 games in college. The plan, as it now stands in May, is for Garoppolo to be the starter in 2021 before turning the team over to Lance when he is ready either in 2022 or 2023.
As for Sherman, the veteran cornerback remains a free agent for now but said he would be "ecstatic" to return to the 49ers.
If a reunion does happen, Sherman will walk back into a different situation than the one he left a few months ago -- one where the expectations remain high but the focus is on both the present and the future.