49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo decision ‘one of worst’ K.J. Wright has seen

Wright very critical of 49ers’ decision to move on from Jimmy G originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Former Seattle Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright knows what it’s like to face Jimmy Garoppolo, which explains exactly why he had a very strong reaction when asked about the 49ers moving on from the veteran quarterback in favor of Trey Lance.

“One of the worst decisions I’ve seen made in a pretty long time, I’ve got to be honest with you,” Wright said on 95.7 The Game’s “Steiny and Guru” show Thursday. “I’m not a fan at all of that move. You have Jimmy G on your team. He got you almost to the promised land. What more do you want from the man?

“Keep rolling with Jimmy G and if you’re not going to roll with Jimmy G, then trade him to another team because no quarterback wants to try to develop with a better quarterback over his [shoulder], looking over him. So Jimmy G needs to get traded. I didn’t like the move at all.”

The 49ers cultivated a plan to transition from Garoppolo to Lance when they traded up in the 2021 NFL Draft to select the North Dakota State star with the No. 3 overall pick.

The idea was that Garoppolo would play the entire 2021 season while Lance watched, learned, and played at times. Then, the 49ers would trade Garoppolo this past offseason, allowing Lance to take over.

Except Garoppolo underwent shoulder surgery early in the offseason, torpedoing any potential trade interest. Despite a few teams looking like they could use Garoppolo as the preseason progressed, no deal materialized and the 49ers had no desire to simply release him.

So, in a stunning move, with rosters needing to be trimmed down to 53 ahead of the 2022 NFL season, the 49ers and Garoppolo agreed to a pay cut to keep him on the roster as Lance’s backup, creating one of the stranger situations in recent history.

And with Lance struggling in the 49ers’ Week 1 loss to the Chicago Bears last Sunday, the calls for Garoppolo to be elevated back to starter only grew louder.

As Wright points out, the window to compete for a Super Bowl always is small and the 49ers currently are in that window.

There are several players still on the roster who were on the team that reached the pinnacle of the sport three years ago while also getting to the NFC Championship Game last year.

“If I’m a guy in that locker room, I don’t care who you traded up to get, I don’t care how many draft picks you gave away, I want the best players on the football field,” Wright told Matt Steinmetz and Daryle Johnson. “And so I know it’s extremely frustrating for those guys. It’s just one game. Let’s give the young man some time to develop and grow.

“But you know what you have in No. 10 Jimmy Garoppolo. So, very frustrating situation, and I’m sure those guys want to get things figured out as quick as possible.”

RELATED: Lance promises Aiyuk will get more touches after quiet Week 1

Lance will face Wright’s former team Sunday as the 49ers (0-1) host the NFC West-leading Seahawks (1-0) at Levi’s Stadium.

While coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have said the 49ers are Lance’s team, the second-year pro still has a lot to prove to the outside world, including Wright, who knows what Garoppolo is capable of doing.

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