Patriots fans will always have an eye on now 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garappolo and wonder what if. Largely because the Patriots essentially gave away a franchise quarterback for a 2nd round pick at the trade deadline last season and at the present moment the Tom Brady relationship is looking less solid than ever before.
General Manager John Lynch sat down with The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami on the TK Pod on CLNS Media and said the 49ers knew how lucky they were as soon as Bill Belichick called to offer up Jimmy G.
“We examined this thing [the trade for Garoppolo] hard. And I go back to the day when we made that trade with New England, and one of the last things Kyle [Shanahan] and I did was look each other in the eye and say hey, we’re taking advantage of a real good opportunity.”
Garoppolo was hardly a proven commodity when San Francisco made the trade – sending a 2018 second rounder to New England. But Lynch says it took almost no time for the 49ers to realize they had made out like bandits.
“You don’t have to be a quarterback savant to look out and see that this guy throws the football a little bit differently than most people, even at this level,” Lynch said. “The first day [he was on the field] everyone was looking at each other like wow this is special.”
Garoppolo started and won the last 5 games of the regular season for the Niners last season, and that was apparently enough for Lynch to award Jimmy G with the richest contract in the history of the NFL.
“There’s so much that we like about Jimmy Garoppolo that led to us having the faith, despite a small sample size, investing that much in him. I think the arm talent speaks for itself. He was blessed with the ability to throw a football extremely well, efficiently, with velocity, [and] from different angles. And all those things you need to be successful.”
Many who describe Garoppolo draw comparisons to the man he was supposed to succeed in New England, Tom Brady. Jimmy G has a long way to go before he deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the GOAT. But one difference at this point in their careers, Brady now 41 has become more private and isolated from his younger teammates, whereas Garoppolo is just one of the guys.
“He’s very humble, and he’s got a humility about him, an ability to just be one of the guys. His teammates love being around him. You’ll see him hanging out with Joe Staley and Marquise Goodwin, but you’ll also see him hanging out with guys at the back-end of our roster. And he’s good friends with them. I think that’s natural, and not something he tries to works on. I’ve said from the beginning: I think the best players, particularly at that position, make everyone around them better. And he’s got that quality, we believe. Now he’s got to go out there and prove it.”