The San Francisco 49ers gave up a second round pick to acquire quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on November 1 of last year, and now they’ve ensured that he won’t be leaving anytime soon. Per multiple sources, Garoppolo has signed a record five-year, $137.5 million contract with he 49ers.
The 49ers and QB Jimmy Garoppolo have agreed to a five-year, $137.5 million contract, source says. The biggest deal in NFL history on a average-per-year basis.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) February 8, 2018
The deal makes Garoppolo the highest-paid player in NFL history on a per-year basis:
As you can see, quarterbacks are often paid the big bucks before they’ve locked in any key playoffs win.
Top three highest-paid players in NFL have combined for zero playoff wins. https://t.co/pMcHh2uvEC— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) February 8, 2018
When 49ers' QB Jimmy Garoppolo's 5-year deal gets finalized shortly, it will include the largest three-year cash total for a new contract in NFL history, just shy of $90 million, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 8, 2018
As many of you already know, Garoppolo was quite successful in his short stint with San Francisco last season, going 5-0 after the team had started 1-10 with Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard. That included three road wins (though the LA Rams had pulled all their key players) and a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Jimmy Garoppolo has led his team to more points per game in his starts (28.3) than any other quarterback over the last 25 seasons (minimum 7 starts) pic.twitter.com/DwIwqHrywX— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) February 8, 2018
Paying a player before he had really had a long history of success is not a new concept, however; this is not unlike when Sam Bradford or Matthew Stafford received record deals right after they had been drafted and had not taken an NFL snap yet. Of course Garoppolo has done more than that: He has 272 career pass attempts in four seasons with the New England Patriots and Niners. He has yet to lose a start.
The deal comes less than four years after the 49ers signed Colin Kaepernick to a seven-year, $126 million contract. Of course, little of that was actually guaranteed and Kaepernick parted ways with San Franciscco last year, collecting a $12 million signing bonus, over $22 million in salary, and a little over $3 million in bonuses. Kaepernick’s “APY” was $19 million, or, $8.5 million less per year than Garoppolo.
Kaepernick had made 23 regular season starts, six postseason starts, two conference championship game starts, and had appeared in a Super Bowl. (Here is some reaction/commentary over the Kaepernick deal in 2014 at Niners Nation.) This is less about commentary on the 49ers and how much different they’ve approached these two quarterbacks and more about how much the NFL has changed in only 3.5 years.
If Garoppolo is getting $90 million cash over the first three years of his deal, then what will the Seattle Seahawks need to offer Russell Wilson to lock him down for more years?
When the 49ers acquired Garoppolo, you knew it pretty much had to come with a huge raise at some point, whether that was in the franchise tag or a long-term deal that put the QB search to rest for a few years. When Garoppolo went 5-0 and played well down the stretch, the latter became a much more acceptable outcome to that franchise than the former, which is understandable. Even the money, especially for a team that was set to have over $100 million in cap space, is understandable. That’s just the ongoing state of the NFL and what they opt to pay “franchise” quarterbacks, even before they’ve led the franchise to anything of note in the postseason.
NFL's highest paid player ...— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) February 8, 2018
March '16: Joe Flacco
June '16: Andrew Luck
June '17: Derek Carr
August '17: Matthew Stafford
February '18: Jimmy Garoppolo
... One more time: The NFL's highest paid player is usually the last good quarterback to get paid.
That could change by next year, and the Niners certainly hope it will;
They’ve already paid for it, after all.