Jimmy Garoppolo's pay cut 'indictment' of 49ers QB, Stephen A. Smith says

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Stephen A.: Jimmy G's pay cut 'very bad look' for veteran QB originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The quarterback situation in San Francisco is a strange one indeed.

Some see Jimmy Garoppolo’s shocking pay cut that keeps him on the 49ers as a backup as beneficial, while others believe it could be a detriment to the team’s young starter under center, Trey Lance.

During Monday’s episode of “First Take,” ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith made it clear that while everything worked out great for the 49ers, the new contract says a lot about Garoppolo.

“All I’m trying to say to you is this: You’re a backup,” Smith said. “... Jimmy G is a backup. He signed as a backup … Jimmy G was the quarterback for a Super Bowl team and is fresh off a trip to the NFC Championship Game. And nobody wanted him? As a starter? Pause on that for a second.”

Smith cited Garoppolo’s winning record with the 49ers in addition to his big-game experience as reasons why the lack of a trade market for him this offseason was an “indictment” of the veteran player.

“That is a very bad look for you, the individual, because what it says is, ‘We won in spite of you, not because of you,’ ” Smith said. “... We all know the reputation of Kyle Shanahan. He’s one of the best coaches in the business, there is nothing to debate. Him having a quarterback in his hands is a beautiful thing.

“Not only is there someone starting ahead of Jimmy G, it was the dude that was drafted when Jimmy G took you to the Super Bowl … This is an indictment of Jimmy G. It’s great for the 49ers, what a security blanket.”

The 49ers traded away major draft capital to move up and select Lance No. 3 overall in 2021, just over a year after San Francisco fell to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV with Garoppolo at the helm.

Garoppolo is now Lance’s backup just one season later, that much is true. But there are play-time incentives included in his new one-year contract, should he end up starting for the team.

It might have been the best landing spot for the beleaguered signal-caller in the end, however, because as Smith pointed out, there were no suitors in the 49ers’ attempt to trade him -- for now. Garoppolo's new deal essentially gives the team until the October trade deadline to find a team for him, and with a much more appealing dollar amount to boot.

RELATED: Maiocco: 49ers completely botched their handling of Jimmy G

Plus, there’s no guarantee that if Garoppolo were released he would have ended up as a starter somewhere else, either, let alone on the roster of a Super Bowl contender like San Francisco with an apparent chance to play if anything goes wrong.

We don’t yet know how Garoppolo feels about staying with the 49ers to back up Lance, but he is guaranteed at least $6.5 million to do so.

Indictment or not, money -- and a chance to win -- talks.

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