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The San Francisco 49ers signed quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a mammoth five-year deal worth $137.5 million in 2018. Now, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has announced that they are moving on from Jimmy G., it has come out that the veteran practically vanished after signing his contract.
Garoppolo had garnered attention thanks to a strong end to the 2017 season. So strong, in fact, that the 49ers offered him that massive contract when he had only seven starts to his credit. The team was taking a big leap of faith and there’s reason to believe that almost immediately, the team’s top brass was starting to sweat.
Garoppolo unreachable during offseason
A member of the Niners coaching staff told the San Francisco Chronicle about how once the news conference announcing Garoppolo’s deal was over, the quarterback went AWOL.
“Once he left that press conference, nobody heard from him for weeks and weeks,” the unidentified member of the 49ers’ staff said. “He didn’t return calls, he didn’t return texts — he basically just vanished. And we were looking at each other going, ‘What just happened?’”
That’s a pretty unusual thing to do once someone — anyone — agrees to pay you more than $100 million. Most people would answer their calls if they’re shelling out that much money for you. Even if you just respond occasionally as a courtesy.
Not Jimmy Garoppolo.
This was a sign of what was to come because disappearing for the entire offseason was something Garoppolo reportedly continued to do almost every year.
Garoppolo’s tenure with the 49ers will likely be remembered for its streakiness, but there were some high points. He led the team to an appearance in Super Bowl LIV but came up short, losing to the Kansas City Chiefs. Just this past season Garoppolo and the 49ers reached the NFC Championship but fell to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams.
With growing uncertainty around Deshaun Watson in Cleveland, there’s a chance that the Browns could try to trade for Garoppolo.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle