Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo spent the last six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, and while he experienced great success, there were also some issues over the last couple of years. Most notably, the 49ers tried to trade him prior to last season but were unable to, and he ultimately remained with the team and regained his starting spot when Trey Lance was injured.
Both he and Lance are no longer with the team after the 49ers traded Lance to the Dallas Cowboys last week and Garoppolo raised some eyebrows when asked about it. The Raiders quarterback noted that there have been “a lot of weird situations” in San Francisco when asked about the Lance trade and intimated that the franchise hasn’t done a good job of handling them.
And this comment set off ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith. In a recent edition of ESPN’s First Take, Smith was asked about Garoppolo’s comments and went off on the Raiders quarterback, saying he needs to shut up amongst other things, via Awful Announcing:
“Jimmy Garoppolo needs to shut up.” pic.twitter.com/TsmGvJV45f
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) August 30, 2023
Smith is known for saying exactly how he feels about any situation, and he did not hold back at all when discussing Garoppolo. While he did call him a good quarterback “when he’s playing” that was about the only positive thing he had to say on the Raiders’ signal caller.
Mentioning Garoppolo’s injury history is fair enough criticism as it has followed him throughout his NFL career, but bringing up his personal life and the women he dates is probably a bit too far. Smith also reiterated his belief that the 49ers were winning in spite of Garoppolo as opposed to because of what he brought to the team.
Garoppolo likely didn’t need to say what he said about the 49ers. Regardless of what went down while he was there and how his situation was handled, he has since moved on to the Raiders and should be focused on that. It was an unnecessary shot at his former team, and he was bound to face some blowback because of it.
Once the Raiders take the field, this will be forgotten about, and things will get back to normal with Garoppolo being judged for what he does on the field. But he opened himself up to some criticism by speaking on this matter in the way that he did, and Smith took the opportunity to swing for the fences.