George Kittle admitted everybody within the San Francisco 49ers knew it was the end of Jimmy Garoppolo in San Francisco once the team drafted Trey Lance. The 49ers stunned the NFL community when they traded up in the 2021 NFL draft to select Lance.
Trading up to draft a quarterback was a clear sign that the 49ers thought it was time to make changes at the quaterback spot but still they decided to keep Garoppolo for the 2021 season. Garoppolo stayed with the 49ers and was named the starter for the 2021 season but still it was an awkard situation as it was obvious to everyone that the 49ers were preparing to move on from Garoppolo after the 2021 season.
The 49ers enjoyed a good run this past season as they reached the NFC Championship Game, before losing to the Los Angeles Rams. Garoppolo told goodbye to teammates and fans after the loss but he is still on the 49ers' roster.
Garoppolo underwent a shoulder surgery just a week before the start of free agency and that is why the 49ers haven't yet found a trade partner for him.
Kittle: We knew what would likely happen with Garoppolo
“I mean, everybody can see it,” Kittle said on the I Am Athlete Podcast, via Pro Football Talk.
“When you trade three first-round draft picks for a quarterback, it kind of has a writing on the wall, doesn’t it? Jimmy did nothing but be a professional every single day. He didn’t complain about it one time.
He wasn’t in a corner talking crap about the situation. He showed up every day as the starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers. He went out there and practiced every day. He worked hard every single day. He set good examples for all the young guys, for all of us, and he motivated everybody.
I don’t know if there’s a better professional in the NFL than Jimmy Garoppolo with how he dealt with that situation. I think he made everyone around him better that year. . . . Hey, you’re dealing with something that no one else here is dealing with and you’re being incredible about it.
I can deal with any of my stuff and move on and just go play football. It was great. The way he handled it was great for us. I wouldn’t wish that upon anybody else but, hey, he did a lot with it and he played at a high level”.