Bears

Jimmy Garoppolo, former Rolling Meadows Mustang, will get first start with Niners this weekend vs. Bears

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USA TODAY

Jimmy Garoppolo, former Rolling Meadows Mustang, will get first start with Niners this weekend vs. Bears

Jimmy Garoppolo's first start with his new team will come against his hometown team.

The San Francisco 49ers announced that Garoppolo, an Arlington Heights native and Rolling Meadows High School product, will get his first start since joining the team in this weekend's game against the Bears at Soldier Field.

Garoppolo, who played his college ball at Eastern Illinois, was traded to the Niners from the New England Patriots earlier this season. The Pats took him in the second round of the 2014 draft, but he made just two starts in four seasons with the team while playing behind future Hall of Famer Tom Brady.

It's been former Iowa Hawkeye quarterback C.J. Beathard starting the last five games for the Niners, the team the Bears traded with on draft day earlier this year to select Mitch Trubisky with the No. 2 pick. Beathard threw three touchdown passes compared to five interceptions in his five starts, during which the Niners went 1-4.

Beathard was injured in Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks, which pressed Garoppolo into brief duty. Garoppolo completed both of his passing attempts in that appearance, including one for a touchdown.

In 18 career games, Garoppolo has completed 67.7 percent of his passes for 708 yards, throwing six touchdown passes and no interceptions.

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

It seems like an annual talking point at this time in the offseason: Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman is one of the best yet most underrated players in Chicago. His performance in 2019 continued that career narrative. 

Goldman finished the year making 15 starts with 29 tackles and one sack. He earned the eighth-highest Pro Football Focus grade among all Bears defenders and remained the consistent run-stopping force in the center of Chicago’s defensive line. 

To be fair, Goldman wasn’t as dominant as he was in 2018, when his 89.1 PFF grade was one of the best at his position in the NFL. But in terms of his role with the Bears, he’s irreplaceable. 

Goldman is entering the third year of a four-year, $42 million contract and will quickly become a source of contract negotiations once again. If he has another strong season in 2020, GM Ryan Pace will have little choice but to lock him up on another extension. Sure, that seems like it’s way down the road, but big-time defensive linemen get paid big-time contracts; Pace has to be prepared. There are currently six defensive tackles making at least $14 million per season.

Quality nose tackles are hard to find. They don’t fill up the stat sheet and rarely do they ever become league-wide superstars; but the Bears’ defense simply wouldn’t possess the upside it does without Goldman anchoring the defensive line, and that remained true in 2019.

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

It seems like an annual talking point at this time in the offseason: Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman is one of the best yet most underrated players in Chicago. His performance in 2019 continued that career narrative. 

Goldman finished the year making 15 starts with 29 tackles and one sack. He earned the eighth-highest Pro Football Focus grade among all Bears defenders and remained the consistent run-stopping force in the center of Chicago’s defensive line. 

To be fair, Goldman wasn’t as dominant as he was in 2018, when his 89.1 PFF grade was one of the best at his position in the NFL. But in terms of his role with the Bears, he’s irreplaceable. 

Goldman is entering the third year of a four-year, $42 million contract and will quickly become a source of contract negotiations once again. If he has another strong season in 2020, GM Ryan Pace will have little choice but to lock him up on another extension. Sure, that seems like it’s way down the road, but big-time defensive linemen get paid big-time contracts; Pace has to be prepared. There are currently six defensive tackles making at least $14 million per season.

Quality nose tackles are hard to find. They don’t fill up the stat sheet and rarely do they ever become league-wide superstars; but the Bears’ defense simply wouldn’t possess the upside it does without Goldman anchoring the defensive line, and that remained true in 2019.