The New Orleans Saints should know all about red flags after their little 2021 offseason spat with Michael Thomas. In this case, 49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo is literally wearing red, so…stay far, far away.
Some of the more “difficult” players in the league can be redeemed. See: Michael Thomas, who after ghosting the Saints in the 2021 offseason has been extremely vocal about his return to the team and his desire to start anew.
Some players cannot be redeemed, whether due to mental fitness, physical fitness, or other unexplainable reasons. See: Antonio Brown, Jimmy Garoppolo, and sure, why not throw in Carson Wentz, too.
We previously wrote about why Jimmy G and the Saints would in fact be a match made in hell, and recent developments have only strengthened our stance.
On Mar. 1, Adam Schefter reported that Garoppolo will undergo shoulder surgery that will sideline him until at least this summer. Schefter estimates that Garoppolo “is expected to resume throwing sometime prior to the July 4 holiday.”
Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury history should make him undesirable to the Saints
With Garoppolo currently garnering interest from several NFL teams, the Saints should go ahead and toss his flyer in the trash.
In the 2021 postseason, Garoppolo injured his shoulder during the 49ers’ Wild Card win against Dallas, and prior to that he hurt his thumb in a late regular season game against Tennessee. He ultimately played through both injuries, starting in each of San Francisco’s three playoff games, but he will not need surgery for his thumb, per Schefter’s sources.
Still, Garoppolo’s injury history may rival that of Baker Mayfield’s for the most difficult game of Operation ever. In Garoppolo’s eight-year career, he has only played 15 or more games in two seasons (2019 and 2021).
Widely considered the worst quarterback in the postseason, Garoppolo didn’t enjoy an impressive 2021 campaign regardless of what his team record tells you. All last year, he was critiqued by Mina Kimes and other NFL analysts for his uninspiring turnover-prone performances, aptly described by Kimes as the kid in a group project that gets an A despite doing none of the work.
Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, and a stout defense got San Francisco to the playoffs in spite of Garoppolo, and heading into 2022, Garoppolo’s nagging injuries only add to his undesirability.
At this point, a die-hard Jimmy G fan might stand up and point a vicious finger at the Saints’ quarterback room. “You want to talk about shortcomings? Let’s talk about Taysom Hill. Or Trevor Siemian. Or Ian Book, or Blake Bortles. Take your pick.”
If Jameis Winston’s contract gets finalized this offseason, none of those options will even enter the quarterback conversation in 2022. At least Winston proved he could rein in the turnovers and still make accurate downfield throws — and he’s played in 20 more career games than Garoppolo even though Garoppolo has one extra year of experience.
Despite “leading” San Francisco on a NFC championship run, the 49ers quarterback suffers from two maladies: the inability to stay healthy, and the incurable affliction of crippling every team he plays on.
If the Saints deliberately choose to ignore Garoppolo’s waving red flags, they should at least take notice of his blue handicap sign. It’s there for everybody to see.