Stephen A. Smith tells Raiders QB Jimmy Garoppolo to ‘just shut up and play’

Aug 13, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) throws the ball before the game against the San Francisco 49ers Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 13, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) throws the ball before the game against the San Francisco 49ers Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The always-controversial and never-shy Stephen A. Smith had the soundbite of all soundbites earlier this week on ESPN’s First Take. New Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo found himself in the crosshairs of SAS during a heated debate about Trey Lance’s time in San Francisco.

Raiders QB Receives Unwarranted Shot

Jimmy Garoppolo got asked about his time with the 49ers following the blockbuster Trey Lance trade. He offered support and well wishes to his former teammate, saying, “Excited for Trey. Just a new opportunity for him. Things didn’t work out in San Francisco for whatever reasons, but [I’m] glad that he gets another shot, man.”

If this was the only quote, perhaps Garoppolo could have avoided being on the other end of a Stephen A. Smith rant. However, the veteran signal caller wasn’t done.

"“Weird situation. There’s been a lot of weird situations over there in San Francisco. I’ll just leave it at that. But I’m happy Trey got another shot,” Jimmy G continued when asked to expand on his previous comment."

Stephen A. Smith Sounds Off On Garoppolo

On Wednesday morning, Smith took to the ESPN airwaves to let everyone know how those comments landed for him. And needless to say, the long-time analyst was none too pleased.

"“My perspective is that Jimmy Garoppolo needs to shut the h*** up. Just shut up and play. Okay? Nobody wants to hear from you,” Smith said, ripping into Jimmy G."

When his co-host specified that Garoppolo’s remarks weren’t unprompted and that he was simply answering a question — Smith wasn’t hearing it.

"“I’m going by what he said. I’m not talking about him literally talking. It’s the words that he chose,” Smith explained. “First of all, let’s understand who Jimmy Garoppolo is. He’s a d*** good quarterback when he’s playing.”"

The polarizing analyst went on, “But it’s rare that he plays. He spends more time in an infirmary than on a football field, some would argue. If he ain’t doing that, he’s with porn stars on Melrose Place in California. That’s why I call him Porn Star Jimmy.”

"“Then when you don’t have that going on, [you’re] missing throws in a Super Bowl that could have helped your team win. Let’s be clear as to what I have said. I have been on the record saying this in the past, and I’m going to say this again. The 49ers didn’t win because of Jimmy Garoppolo; they won in spite of Jimmy Garoppolo.”"

Who Knew Trey Lance Could Cause Such Animosity?

To hammer home his point, Smith highlighted how unique the situation is in San Fran. “We understand there’s weird situations that have happened to San Francisco. Let me tell you what else is weird. The San Francisco 49ers were one of six teams last year to use four different quarterbacks, including the playoffs. The other five teams were the Panthers, Jets, Rams, Cardinals, and Bears. Here is the difference: All of those teams lost 10 or more games.”

"“Then we have to take into account the fact that the 49ers are also just the third team in NFL history to reach three conference championship games in a four-year span without a Pro Bowl quarterback. That is Kyle Shanahan. That is John Lynch,” Smith said with fervor."

There is some truth to be found in this tirade by Stephen A. Smith, even if it is seemingly coming out of left field. Can Garoppolo win football games without Kyle Shanahan? Without a stacked roster around him? We won’t know an answer to this until the regular season commences for the Raiders.

Fair Or Out Of Bounds? Did SAS Slander Jimmy G?

But some of the stuff Smith said borders on slander. Jimmy Garoppolo may be a fragile quarterback. He may not be a top-10 passer in the NFL — no one is arguing otherwise. Still, Jimmy G has every right to answer questions about his former team and teammates. He did not cross any line.

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Smith is not new to these passionate outbursts. He has directly called out athletes time and time again, so this is another instance of the status quo. But what do you think, Raiders fans? Did SAS hit it on the head? Or did he take things too far?