During his press conference with the media Monday, 49ers head coach said he believes Jimmy Garoppolo will be the team’s starting quarterback in 2021.
The future of the position has been an interesting topic in recent weeks with the injuries to Garoppolo, his contract (no guaranteed money after this season) and the 49ers possibly in position to draft a quarterback in 2021, even if they have to move up for one. The team will finish with a losing record and be the latest to suffer a Super Bowl hangover. Garoppolo will have the 11th-highest quarterback cap hit in 2021 at $26.9 million dollars, but they would save $24.1 million in cap space if they move on from him. It will be an interesting offseason surrounding the former NFC champions.
Heading into the contest, Brandon Aiyuk had played one game in the last month and the thought was that he’d have fresh legs against the Bills. Nick Mullens targeted him nine times and Aiyuk finished with five catches for 95 yards, including a rare — for the 49ers — deep ball down the sideline for 49 yards.
How rare was it? According to the NFL’s NextGen stats, the ball traveled 54.1 yards in the air. That ranks in the middle of the pack among NFL long balls but is the longest completed throw in terms of air yards by a 49ers quarterback this season. Jimmy Garoppolo had a completion that traveled 43.1 yards earlier this season. Garoppolo had one of 57.2 yards — to Emmanuel Sanders against the Saints — last season.
Aiyuk also drew a pass-interference penalty on a deep ball on the 49ers’ opening drive that flipped the field position and indirectly led to the 49ers’ first score — a 2-yard pass to Aiyuk. Reports said Aiyuk is more of a pure receivers vs. Deebo Samuel who is also used a lot in sweeps and gadget plays. Aiyuk could be worth a grab if he's still on your wire.
To view Jalen Hurts as the Eagles’ likely quarterback of the future would be a mistake. The most likely scenario is that Hurts is not the long-term answer. That’s not me being harsh and counting a guy out before he even starts a game. That’s just what history tells us. From 2008 to 2017 (I’m using this range so that we get at least three full years of each player), 24 quarterbacks were taken on Day 2 of the draft. Among that group, six became starters: Russell Wilson, Derek Carr, Colin Kaepernick, Nick Foles, Andy Dalton and Jimmy Garoppolo. This is not complex math, but we can say that the chances based on that sample of finding a starter in the second or third round is roughly 25 percent.
The story went on to say the one thing the Eagles cannot do is convince themselves that Hurts is the guy after a four-game sample. The goal should just be information gathering. It’s possible they learn that the offensive system and surrounding talent aren’t the problem, and the issues were even more Wentz-related than suspected. It’s also possible they discover the offensive system and surrounding talent are the problem, and it doesn’t really matter who’s playing quarterback, the story all said. The author said given that Hurts had a shortened offseason and no preseason, he would expect that we’d see a heavy QB-inclusive run game and a simplified passing game in which he’s encouraged to take off if he doesn’t like what he sees - for those interested in plugging in Hurts for Week 14.