For the first time in six years, the San Francisco 49ers have reached the Super Bowl after topping the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game. The 49ers accomplished that feat with their restructured roster that features quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo at the center of it all in his second full season with the franchise. That brings into question whether the New England Patriots are having second thoughts about moving on from Garoppolo.
Jimmy Garoppolo Era with 49ers
The 49ers made a massive push forward before the trade deadline in the 2017 season that saw them land Garoppolo from the Patriots in exchange for a second-round pick.
That move has paid off in a significant way as he has been a crucial piece in the puzzle in helping guide the 49ers back to the Super Bowl. Garoppolo put forth a respectable campaign, finishing 12th with 3,978 passing yards and tied for fifth with 27 touchdowns while holding a 102.0 passer rating.
Although he hasn’t put up huge numbers by any means in the playoffs, he has helped guide the franchise back to the Super Bowl. Garoppolo has proven to be well worth the risk as he has panned as a quarterback that can guide the 49ers to success, which could see him join Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Steve Young as the only players at the position to win a Super Bowl with the organization.
It also shifts the attention over to Garoppolo’s former team, which has now hit a crossroad that could see some major changes on the horizon in New England for the first time in two decades.
Patriots hitting tough spot without Jimmy Garoppolo
For the first time in eight years, the Patriots failed to reach the AFC Championship Game, which has been further scrutinized for the most successful franchise in the last decade.
There are serious questions about Tom Brady‘s future with the franchise ahead of the upcoming offseason. It’s believed he could entertain the idea of playing elsewhere in free agency as he hits the open market for the first time in his career.
That has placed a huge question mark on the future of the team, especially at the quarterback position if Brady leaves. The initial hope in New England was that Garoppolo was going to be his eventual successor, but with him out of the mix that leaves that spot wide open heading into the offseason.
If Brady departs, the Patriots will be active in finding his replacement, but not having Garoppolo there could make things much harder to find a smooth transition. New England won two Super Bowls since making that trade, but this was an inevitable outcome with Brady’s departure coming at some point down the line.
49ers’ bright future ahead
It took a few years, but the 49ers have rebuilt their roster towards being a legitimate championship-caliber team.
San Francisco has tremendous balance on both sides of the ball, led by the stout play of their defense that has plenty of talent across the board. Although Garoppolo hasn’t had many standout performances this season, he has earned his place in being a significant part of the transformation of the team that has a bright future ahead.
The quarterback position is arguably the most critical position for any successful team needs to have figured out, and the 49ers certainly have that place. Things could have been much different for him with the Patriots, but he’s in a spot where he has the chance to make his own legacy with San Francisco by etching himself into NFL history with a Super Bowl win.