San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle admitted the sense of awkwardness was felt around the Jimmy Garoppolo situation last year but noted the team had already been used to stuff like that. During the 2021 NFL draft, the 49ers pulled off a big move as they traded up at No.
3 to select quarterback Trey Lance. Drafting Lance was a clear indication that the 49ers were preparing to part ways with Garoppolo but they decided to keep Garoppolo in 2021. Even though Garoppolo wasn't traded after the 2021 NFL draft, the worst kept secret in the NFL was that the 49ers' plan was to trade him after the 2021 season.
Kittle on the Garoppolo situation.
“I mean we’re kind of used to it at this point,” Kittle said on the I Am Athlete podcast, via Pro Football Talk. “I mean, Jimmy G’s been under scrutiny since after the 2018 season where he tore his ACL.
That whole season was like, ‘Oh, is Jimmy G the guy?’ Then he comes back, takes us to a Super Bowl, then we lose and then the next offseason is, ‘Oh, is Jimmy G the guy?’ We had another injury, 2020.
It was a tough year for the Niners and then we came back and go to another NFC Championship game. We’ve been through this. It is what it is. I don’t think it’s really much of a distraction. I mean, I can’t tell being in the building.
I see the guys show up every single day, go run routes, we lift weights, go to meetings, and it’s not really even a topic of conversation. We’re all here just trying to get better and whether that’s Jimmy G, whether it’s Trey Lance, whether it’s Nate Sudfeld, or our Mr.
Irrelevant, Brock Purdy. Whoever is slinging that rock hopefully will just throw it to me more than anybody else”. Two months into free agency, Garoppolo is still a 49er. Garoppolo underwent a surgery in early March and that is why the 49ers are having a hard time finding a trade partner for the veteran quarterback.