The San Francisco 49ers and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo have agreed to a five-year, $137.5 million contract, making the quarterback with a mere seven NFL starts the highest-paid player in NFL history on an average-per-year basis.
NFL Media was the first to report the contract figures. ESPN reported Friday that Garoppolo will receive $48.7 million guaranteed at signing, with 42.6 million coming in Year One and $61.2 million through 2019, when the Niners can potentially get off the hook if Garoppolo unexpectedly flops. The $61.2 million, as ESPN's Adam Schefter points out, is $10 million more than Garoppolo would've received by playing on the franchise tag in the next two seasons.
It's hard to imagine, seeing these numbers, what Kirk Cousins might earn. And if you're Aaron Rodgers, what are you thinking after seeing this deal?
Garoppolo's situation truly has been unique since arriving in San Francisco at the trade deadline in a swap with the New England Patriots. The 49ers sent a second-round pick (either the 41st or 43rd overall, pending the results of a coint flip) for Garoppolo and his expiring contract. All he did was light it up after arriving, giving the 49ers immense hope for the future.
The Patriots mortgaged their future franchise QB for a continued run with Tom Brady. They both fell a bit short in Super Bowl LII last Sunday.
The 49ers closed last season 5-0 with Garoppolo starting. He threw for seven TDs, five interceptions and 1,560 yards in his six games (five starts) after the trade. Garoppolo previously started two games for the Patriots in place of a suspended Brady to start the 2016 season, winning both.
Although the 49ers must surround Garoppolo with more talent, they had more than $100 million in salary-cap space prior to this deal, and it wouldn't be surprising to see a big cap hit incurred this season with so much space once the details of the deal are leaked out. The 49ers know they likely can't use all that money this season in other ways.
They also hold nine draft picks — even after giving the Patriots their second-rounder. The Niners pick either ninth or 10th in the draft and should be able to beef up their offensive cast around their highly paid QB.
This deal comes with even higher expectations following the thrilling run to end the season. Can Garoppolo live up to this massive contract? We shall see. But the excitement is very much back in the Bay Area again, and the 49ers knew they couldn't let a good thing slip through their fingers after making the trade to get Garoppolo.