Had Jimmy Garoppolo’s relationship with the 49ers fractured beyond repair, the veteran quarterback might have returned to the AFC East.
Leading up to San Francisco’s Week 13 matchup with Miami at Levi’s Stadium, Garoppolo identified the Dolphins as one of the teams that pursued him over the course of the NFL offseason. As football fans will remember, a Bay Area exit for Garoppolo felt inevitable for some time before the 31-year-old surprisingly reworked his contract in order to stay with the Niners for at least the 2022 season.
“They were in the conversation,” Garoppolo told reporters Thursday, per Pro Football Talk. “Not much came from it, but they were definitely one of the teams in the conversation. It seemed like a good spot. As an offense, that’s tremendous skillplayers, everything they got going over there. Mike (McDaniel) being a great coach, I had been with him in the past here and it was discussed, but I’m glad the way things worked out.”
Things certainly did work out, and not just for Garoppolo. San Francisco’s offense didn’t miss a beat after Jimmy G replaced an injured Trey Lance and Tua Tagovailoa is amid a breakout season with the Dolphins, who entered Sunday as the fifth seed in the AFC. Who knows, Garoppolo’s presence in South Beach might have stunted Garoppolo’s growth and McDaniel potentially could have preferred an offense led by a quarterback with whom he’s familiar.
Instead, McDaniel and the Dolphins have watched Tagovailoa play at an MVP level. The third-year pro will need to keep it up Sunday if he wants to lead his team to a win over the Niners, winners of four straight.