How John Lynch Might Have Confirmed 49ers’ Plan For Jimmy Garoppolo

Sunday likely was Garoppolo's final game as a Niner


January 31, 2022

Sunday night very likely marked the end of an era for the San Francisco 49ers.

The NFC Championship Game in all likelihood was the final game Jimmy Garoppolo plays for the franchise. The Niners’ Super Bowl LVI dreams vanished with Garoppolo at center stage, as his reckless interception late in the fourth quarter at SoFi Stadium sealed a Super Bowl LVI berth for the Los Angeles Rams.

ESPN’s Jeff Darlington stood outside San Francisco’s locker room after its 2021 season ended with a crushing defeat. Right outside the door was John Lynch, who gave a quick handshake to every player who passed him, according to Darlington. But the Niners general manager opted for a hug and a longer embrace for Jimmy G.

Quite frankly, Lynch was lucky to have Garoppolo under center at this juncture for the 49ers organization. The 30-year-old surely knew his days in the Bay Area were numbered when San Francisco traded up for the third pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and used it on Trey Lance. This shouldn’t be viewed as a betrayal by Lynch and company, as it’s the nature of the beast that is the NFL. But the Niners nonetheless bluntly expressed a lack of commitment to a QB who led them to a Super Bowl, and Garoppolo at no point wavered from being the consummate professional. He even played through two serious injuries, a risky move for a player whose football future is completely up in the air.

None of this likely is lost on Lynch, whose team has a fairly promising outlook for the future. Knowing Garoppolo probably is departing the Bay Area this offseason, it only was right for Lynch to go out of his way to show love and appreciation for the quarterback.

Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images
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