49ers Week 11 overreactions: Could Jimmy Garoppolo return in 2022?

·5 min read

49ers overreactions: Could Jimmy G still be here in 2022? originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The 49ers got bumped out of the prime time slot of Sunday Night Football for Week 13 against the Seattle Seahawks.

But, this time, the 49ers are probably not the ones to blame.

And that is not an overreaction.

The 49ers (5-5) are surging with three victories in the past four weeks to move into solid contention for one of seven spots in the NFC playoffs.

However, the Seattle Seahawks are not living up to their end of the bargain.

The Seahawks are 3-7 and currently in the No. 15 spot in the NFC — ahead of only the winless Detroit Lions.

The 49ers-Seahawks game originally scheduled for Sunday night will now be played on Sunday, Dec. 5, at 1:25 p.m. The game will be televised on CBS.

The Denver-Kansas City game will slide into the Sunday night slot.

And, with that, we open another edition of 49ers overreactions . . . 

Overreaction? Yes.

Although this part of it has never been stated, one of the reasons the 49ers decided to move up to No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft was to apply the savings from Jimmy Garoppolo’s future salary to other players.

That has never looked more important than now.

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel is eligible for a new contract after this season. The question is whether the 49ers will reward him before the start of training camp in 2022. They signed George Kittle and Fred Warner to lucrative extensions the past two years, and they will try to do the same with Samuel.

Also, the 49ers will pick up the fifth-year option on Nick Bosa. Regardless of the timing on a new contract for Bosa, they will have to set aside a lot of money to keep everyone around.

It seems doubtful the 49ers would be able to trade Garoppolo and his one-year, $25 million contract. He has a no-trade clause, so he has a lot of say in his next stop.

Of course, the 49ers will publicly keep the door open for Garoppolo’s return in 2022, but it just does not make a lot of sense for them to not hand the keys over Trey Lance after this season.

Overreaction? Yes.

The only thing that has surprised the 49ers with Lance was how great he looked at the opening of training camp.

I don’t believe the coaching staff was prepared for him to be as good as he looked on the practice field during the summer. But everything else — the ups, downs and everything that comes with being a rookie quarterback — was wholly predictable.

Shanahan envisioned Garoppolo as the starter and Lance as a change-of-pace quarterback in certain situations.

But he saw early in the season how difficult it is to navigate such a plan.

If Garoppolo and the offense are going well, why change things?

And if Garoppolo is struggling, give him a chance to snap out of it.

I have not heard a bad word about Lance. From what I gather, Lance has done nothing behind the scenes but reinforce their decision to place their faith in him.

Meanwhile, Garoppolo has given Shanahan no reason to seek a change at quarterback with the way he is playing.

Overreaction? No

The season is not over with a loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. The playoffs would still be possible.

But, let's not downplay this: It is a huge game.

It would get the 49ers over the .500 mark from their current 5-5 record. It would also create, in essence, a two-game lead over the Vikings in the wild-card hunt due to the head-to-head tiebreaker advantage.

The 49ers have played very good football the past two games.

They will need more of the same against Minnesota, and that means:

-Create takeaways.

-Avoid giveaways and penalties.

-Convert third downs.

-Tackle.

The 49ers’ run game has been so good in large part because Garoppolo and the offense have converted on third downs. Minnesota’s run defense is leaky, and the 49ers must again impose their will on the ground.

Overreaction? No.

There was a time not long ago when coach Kyle Shanahan was fielding questions about turning the page on 2021 and start giving the team’s young players experience for the future.

Now, the 49ers are very much in the NFC playoff race.

There is not a dominant team in the NFC. Heck, there is not a dominant team in the AFC, either.

RELATED: Maiocco: 49ers' turnaround should quiet Shanahan critics

The only goal the 49ers set for themselves that is no longer attainable is the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. But everything else remains a possibility.

First, the 49ers must make the playoffs. If they earn a spot in the postseason, the slate is swiped clean for the postseason. And, then, they would have as good of a chance as any other team.

Overreaction? No.

Have a great Thanksgiving, everybody.

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