If there’s one quarterback in NFL history who definitely understands what Jimmy Garoppolo is going through right now, it’s probably Brett Favre.
The former Packers quarterback has been watching the 49ers‘ situation from afar, and as things stand now, Favre thinks San Francisco is making a mistake at quarterback this year by starting Trey Lance.
“My personal opinion, I would go with Jimmy Garoppolo,” Favre said during a recent interview with The33rdteam.com. “He’s not as flashy, not near as flashy. He wasn’t their first-round pick. And no offense toward Trey Lance, but what Jimmy has done is win and win, win, win again. Not flashy. So, it’s not the glamorous pick, but my goodness, the guy has won and put the 49ers in a position to compete for the Super Bowl year in and year out and deserves the right to keep playing.”
Favre doesn’t think that Lance is necessarily going to be a bust, he’d just let Garoppolo play out his contract.
“There’s a tremendous upside with Trey; no question about it,” Favre said. “But [Garoppolo] has been a proven winner. And that oftentimes gets overlooked — is a guy a winner? And Jimmy Garoppolo is definitely a winner.”
Favre can likely empathize with what Garoppolo is going through. The list of starting quarterbacks who lost their job after leading their team to a conference title game is a short one, but both Favre and Garoppolo are on it. Although their situations aren’t exactly the same, there are definitely some similarities.
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Favre’s last game with the Packers came in the 2007 NFC Championship, which the Packers lost to the Giants 23-20. Two months after that game, Favre said he was going to retire, so the Packers made the decision to move on to Aaron Rodgers. Just before training camp, Favre decided he wanted to play, but the Packers wanted no part of him at that point, so they traded him to the Jets.
On Garoppolo’s end, the last we saw him on the field was in the 2021 NFC Championship, which the 49ers lost to the Rams 20-17. During the offseason, the 49ers made the decision that they were going to move forward with Lance as their starting quarterback, which has opened the door for Garoppolo to be traded or cut at some point before the season starts.
One other similarity about their situations is that both quarterbacks could end up with a division rival. After one season with the Jets, Favre went to Minnesota in 2009 and led the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game. If Garoppolo gets cut, he could end up with a Seahawks team that would become instantly better with him under center.