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How is Jimmy Garoppolo doing? How the 49ers’ starting quarterback for Super Bowl 54 became a backup for the Raiders

When Super Bowl 58 kicks off between the Chiefs and 49ers, fans will see much of what they saw on this stage four years ago.

Like Super Bowl 54, Andy Reid and Kyle Shanahan are the head coaches. Patrick Mahomes is still widely considered the best player in football. Even the uniforms are virtually the same, with Kansas City donning red and San Francisco wearing white.

Both teams have stayed quite successful since Super Bowl 54. The Chiefs went to two Super Bowls and won one of them before reaching a third this season. The 49ers played in three consecutive NFC championship games before finally breaking through this year. Yet, the quarterback situation has been somewhat tumultuous in San Francisco over the past four seasons. Missing from this run is Jimmy Garoppolo, who started at QB for the 49ers in that Super Bowl 54 loss.

Other core pieces — George Kittle, Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, and even Deebo Samuel — remain in place, but it’s now Brock Purdy under center as the 49ers try to snap what’s become a 29-year title drought.

Here’s what you need to know about how Garoppolo’s time in San Francisco came to an end and where he is now.

What happened to Jimmy Garoppolo?

Garoppolo became a free agent after the 2022 season and signed with the Raiders. He opened 2023 as the Raiders’ starter but was benched in favor of rookie Aidan O’Connell after Josh McDaniels was fired on Halloween.

This story isn’t as simple as Garoppolo getting away as a free agent, however. His late-game struggles in Super Bowl 54 arguably set the stage for the 49ers to formulate a succession plan, and the same issues in San Francisco’s NFC championship loss two years later set the stage for his time as a starter to end — temporarily, at least.

The 49ers traded up to select Trey Lance third overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, making Lance the franchise’s presumed long-term solution at QB. Because Lance had so little college experience at North Dakota State, Garoppolo remained the team’s starter in 2021. He helped guide the team all the way to the NFC title game, but late-game mistakes reminded the 49ers that Garoppolo might not be capable of winning a championship.

San Francisco moved forward with Lance as its starter in 2022, only for the young signal-caller to suffer a broken ankle in Week 2. Garoppolo re-entered the fray and played well, but he went down himself with a season-ending foot injury with five games remaining in the regular season. That left Purdy as the 49ers’ only remaining option, and the rest is history.

Purdy looked so comfortable in eight starts between the regular season and playoffs that Shanahan backed him as the 49ers’ starter entering the 2023 season, and the 49ers were confident enough in the former Mr. Irrelevant that they didn’t make an effort to re-sign Garoppolo. Instead, San Francisco added Sam Darnold and kept Lance in the fold.

By the end of training camp, Lance was the odd man out and was dealt to Dallas. Purdy recovered from offseason elbow surgery in time to start Week 1 for the Niners, and the franchise hasn’t looked back.

MORE: Myth-busting the Super Bowl 58 matchup

Where is Jimmy Garoppolo now?

Garoppolo remains on the Raiders’ roster, but his future in Las Vegas is unclear. If Garoppolo does stick with the Raiders into 2024, it will likely be the result of his hefty contract.

The Raiders would owe Garoppolo $28.3 million in 2024 if he was released outright, a blow the franchise might not be willing to take. Las Vegas can spread out that cap hit if Garoppolo is designated as a post-June 1 release, which would cost the team $15.5 million in 2024 and $13 million in ’25.

The veteran completed 65.1 percent of passes for 1,205 yards, seven touchdowns, and nine interceptions in six starts for the Raiders in 2023. His interception rate was easily the worst of his career, and Garoppolo’s benching came two days after he had a remarkably difficult time connecting with Davante Adams in a prime-time loss to the Lions.

While Garoppolo threw 82 touchdowns to 42 interceptions in his 49ers career, San Francisco ultimately decided his limitations were holding back the offense. His path to a starting role in 2024 will be difficult, whether or not the Raiders decide Aidan O’Connell has earned another chance to lead the offense.

Jimmy Garoppolo Super Bowl 54 stats

Garoppolo was a mixed bag in the 49ers’ Super Bowl 54 loss, finishing 20-of-31 for 219 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.

Kyle Juszczyk caught Garoppolo’s only touchdown pass of the game in the second quarter, tying the game at 10, and the former Patriots second-rounder managed the offense well in a third quarter that saw San Francisco take a 20-10 lead.

When the 49ers needed Garoppolo to answer Patrick Mahomes in the fourth quarter, he couldn’t finish the job. The Niners had a chance to effectively put the game away after Mahomes was intercepted while trailing by 10, but the drive ended in a punt that set up a Chiefs scoring drive.

San Francisco’s ensuing drive took just 55 seconds off the clock, and Garoppolo was 0-for-2 with an interception when he had 72 seconds to potentially go down the field and win the game.

While Purdy might not be a perfect quarterback, Shanahan put his trust in the seventh-rounder to play within the 49ers’ system and avoid many of mistakes Garoppolo made. So far, Shanahan’s trust has been rewarded, with just one hurdle still remaining for the 24-year-old QB.

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