We've spent plenty of the offseason collectively wringing hands over the future of Jimmy Garoppolo in San Francisco, and rightfully so.
But if you asked him whether he's heard it, he'd probably say he hasn't. At least, that's what his teammate thinks.
"I think it would be naive to say that he doesn't hear any of it, but the guy really doesn't hear a lot of it," fullback Kyle Juszczyk told Pat McAfee during an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show. "He's not super active on social media. I mean, you'll see the guy post like once a month on his Instagram, and it's usually some sort of ad for some high-end car dealership or something. I don't think he has a Twitter account, and if he does, he's not very active on it."
Garoppolo has remained in the news cycle because of his inability to stay on the field. In fact, the football world has likely spent more time wondering about his fate as a 49er than he has taken snaps in games for San Francisco, at least in the last year.
That hasn't bothered Garoppolo much, according to Juszczyk, because he's simply not listening. He has other things to focus on, of course, like rehab and preparation for another season. And with 49ers brass still remaining confident in him -- provided he's able to play instead of watching in street clothes -- he doesn't have much to fear other than his own football mortality.
"And I know he keeps things really close in-house," Juszczyk explained further. "The guy hangs out with his brothers, mostly, spends a lot of time with his family, just kind of has a tight-knit group of guys, and so he's not really putting himself out there and letting himself listen to that kind of stuff because I think he knows how toxic it can be and what it can lead to. You've seen in other situations where guys just get hammered down reading negative things about themselves."
Garoppolo has proven he's capable of winning games for the 49ers when healthy. In his lone full season of 2019, San Francisco went 13-3 and smashed its way through the playoffs to a berth in Super Bowl LIV. Garoppolo didn't carry his weight in the game's most crucial moments, but at 29 years old, he should still have a lot of good football left ahead of him.
Should is the key word there, because the injury bug has hurt him more than any amount of turnovers or incompletions. His greatest concern is his health, and he can rest easy putting his faith in the power of hope. Before long, having to prove the headlines are nothing more than print (or text occupying digital space like this), and not a precursor of a future reality. By then, the news will be unavoidable.