Though he eventually got his career back on track, Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t have an easy start in the NFL. The Patriots selected him in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft and it took some time before he could prove his talent.
A trade to the San Francisco 49ers in 2017 turned out to be a career-changing move for Jimmy G, who eventually led the Niners to deep playoff runs, including a trip to the 2020 Super Bowl. Before then, Garoppolo had one of the all-time greats ahead of him.
Even so, he had the chance to start when Tom Brady was suspended in 2016. But it didn’t last long, as Garoppolo got injured in Week 2, Jacoby Brissett stepped in and Brady returned in Week 5. To make things worse, some of his former teammates don’t have a good memory about Garoppolo’s time in Foxborough.
Julian Edelman, former Patriots’ teammate rip Jimmy Garoppolo
Looking back at his time with the Patriots, retired tight end Martellus Bennett took a huge shot at Jimmy Garoppolo in an appearance on the Double Coverage With The McCourty Twins podcast. Reflecting on the two defeat the Patriots suffered in the 2016 season, Bennett blamed Garoppolo for the Week 4 loss to the Bills.
“He decided not to play right before the game,” Bennett said, via Shanna McCarriston of CBS Sports. “Jacoby (Brissett) came out and played with a f—– up thumb and played his heart out, but Jimmy was just being a b—- about it all … you can’t win with a b—- for a quarterback, first of all.
“That was the whole thing with him: He didn’t want to come out and do anything because his agent was trying to protect his body or some s— like that. Which, I can’t fault him for that. But like, you should have made that decision on Thursday. Now it’s Sunday.”
Later, Patriots legend Julian Edelman reacted to Bennett’s strong comments. Speaking on the I AM ATHLETE podcast, the retired wide receiver compared how Brissett played through injury while Garoppolo didn’t.
“I guess Jimmy was practicing and then decided not to play,” Edelman said. “And Jacoby [Brissett] played with no ligaments in his thumb, which — you can’t do that as a quarterback. You can’t grip. And if it’s your left [shoulder]…“
Edelman admitted the locker room wasn’t pleased with Garoppolo, including himself. So, even though he didn’t use the same kind of words Bennett did, Edelman seemed to agree with him.
“A lot of guys got mad about it. A lot of guys got mad. I’m not gonna lie — I got mad about it. I sacrifice my body all day long. I was taking shots for this, numbing up that, ribs, broken ribs, shoulders, you know, Grade 3, hanging on by limbs, just to play. And you know, I can understand why Marty thinks like that.”
Either way, this should be the least of Garoppolo’s problems right now. His biggest concern at this moment is what will be next for him once he completes rehab from shoulder injury, as the 49ers seem prepared to make room for Trey Lance. The day he retires, he may have time for this. In the meantime, he has a football career to take care of.
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