The San Francisco 49ers can get out of Jimmy Garoppolo's contract after this season, something general manager John Lynch will have to address in the coming months. San Francisco is a disappointing 4-5 after nine games as Garoppolo has struggled with injuries and poor play on the field.
Garoppolo has two years remaining on his current deal but faces an uncertain future. Lynch did his best to address the situation without giving anything anyway.
"I think the elephant in the room, everyone wants to know about Jimmy," Lynch said on 104.5 FM KNBR Friday. "We're a better football team when he's out there. We win a lot of games when he's out there, we've struggled to win without him. People can try and pick his game apart."
The 49ers do win games when Garoppolo starts, as they are 22-8 in the 30 games he's started for the team. Garoppolo has completed 67.5% of his passes for 7,352 yards with 46 touchdowns to 26 interceptions and a 98.1 passer rating in those 30 starts. However, Garoppolo has struggled in the six games he's started this year, completing 67.1% of his passes with seven touchdowns to five interceptions and compiling a 92.4 passer rating, ranking in the middle of the pack amongst NFL quarterbacks in many statistical categories.
"I do believe a lot of this year, Jimmy probably hasn't played up to his standard," Lynch said. "I think a lot of that, he's been somewhat compromised with his health since he had that high ankle in the New York Jets game. Think about prior to the ankle injury in that game, I believe he was 12 of 14, he was our player of the game. We have a lot of belief in Jimmy."
Lynch did confirm San Francisco sent vice president of player personnel Adam Peters to watch BYU quarterback Zach Wilson last week, which brings up the question of how much faith the front office really has in Garoppolo. With two years remaining on his contract, the 49ers can save $24.1 million in salary cap space by moving on from Garoppolo after the season, so the franchise has a decision to make. Lynch can even wait a year to move on from Garoppolo since he doesn't have any guaranteed salary in 2022 either.
The 49ers general manager won't apologize for scouting a quarterback either.
"We're doing our jobs. You prepare for everything," Lynch said. "As a scouting staff, we're always going to be thorough, we're always going to work our tail off to scout all the players and be prepared for anything."