The winless Niners shipped a second-round pick to New England last Monday to land Garoppolo, whose contract expires after the season. Whether San Francisco plans to franchise tag or re-sign the young passer, it's imperative the team gets a close look at him.
With their bye up next after New York, it makes sense to wait another week. The idea that the campaign would end without Garoppolo making starts, though, simply never checked out.
Perhaps the concern in San Francisco is a turnstile offensive line that leaves Niners signal-callers subject to ultra-violence on a weekly basis:
"I'm trying to learn this playbook as fast as possible," Garoppolo said Wednesday of a complex, Shanahan-led scheme that would test any veteran out of the gate.
It's no simple task stepping into a new offense post-Halloween, but these are unique times for the Niners after they pulled the trigger on a potential long-term solution under center. They must discover how Garoppolo performs -- especially in circumstances less pristine than Foxborough.
Bad teams shove promising quarterbacks on the field all the time. Pulling Garoppolo west from New England brought waves of new hope to the Bay Area. It's time to see what he can do.