Offseason practices are in the books for the 49ers.
Injuries have stolen headlines when it comes to the summarization of OTAs, but one thing that can get lost is the performance of Jimmy Garoppolo.
“I think Jimmy had his best spring since we've had him," said Kyle Shanahan at his final OTA presser on Wednesday. "We had the spring the first year with him, the second year he had the ACL, so we didn't get that. And then last year it was COVID. So this is really his second one not being on an ACL. I thought Jimmy came in in great shape, really locked in, a good place physically and mentally. And I thought he had as good of OTAs as he's had.”
Garoppolo has momentum going into 49ers training camp as he should. He has all the motivation in the world to be sharp. Garoppolo has to fend off Trey Lance through health and performance. Any consistent sloppy play from him, or if he suffers another injury that puts him on the shelf for a few weeks again, and he is going to struggle to regain his role as the starter.
Holding onto his starter role is crucial for Garoppolo. 2021 is his audition tape for his new team in 2022. He needs to prove he is healthy and can be that solid quarterback that he was in 2019. Garoppolo is well-accustomed to his high-salary life. If he cannot have an impressive season, then getting paid nicely will be erased. Plus, depending on how poorly his season went, he could also be relegated as a consensus backup.
Garoppolo having a strong spring should be expected of him. He has been in the league long enough to where he shouldn't be sloppy in spring. Not to mention it is mainly seven-on-seven scrimmages, so it would be very demoralizing to hear he didn't play adequately enough.
If Lance wants any shot of being considered as the Week 1 starter, he is going to have to really "Wow" Shanahan. Right now, Garoppolo is entrenched and should be presumed as the starter.