49ers agree to sign Jimmy Garoppolo to biggest deal in NFL history
Not to be outdone by a frenetic NBA trade deadline, the NFL sneaked in a blockbuster personnel move of its own Thursday.
The San Francisco 49ers, who haven’t had a long-term franchise quarterback since Steve Young, have lavished Jimmy Garoppolo with a whopping five-year, $137.5 million contract, per the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
Garoppolo, who was acquired from the New England Patriots in late October, will now officially be the face of a franchise that has fallen quite far from its lofty Super Bowl standards of the 1980s and ’90s.
The 49ers traded just a 2018 second-round pick to the Patriots for Garoppolo.
If he is as good as his contract suggests, it will turn out to be an absolute heist of a deal.
While Garoppolo needed a few weeks to acclimate to a different playbook, once the 49ers inserted him as the starting quarterback, the results were impressive.
In five starts, Garoppolo threw for 1,560 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions.
More importantly, the 49ers went 5-0 in those games.
The team was 1-10 in the 11 games prior to Garoppolo starting.
His new deal is officially the richest contract in NFL history on a per year basis, averaging an eye-popping $27.5 million per year.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matt Stafford was the previous record holder.
The deal certainly comes with some risk for the 49ers. Garoppolo has only seven starts under his belt, which isn’t even half of an NFL season.
It’s a calculated risk to offer a quarterback nearly the same number of years on a massive contract as the number of career starts.
Two quarterbacks who will certainly indirectly benefit from this deal are Kirk Cousins and Aaron Rodgers.
Cousins will likely be a free agent this year after the Washington Redskins traded for Alex Smith.
Considering that Cousins has a much larger body of work than Garoppolo, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for him to ask for $30 million a year.
Whether a team is willing to take that plunge on Cousins is an entirely different matter.
As far as Rodgers goes, he has just two years left of a relatively team-friendly deal. He has made it known that he’d like a lucrative extension in what could be one of his last contracts.
Based on merit, if Garoppolo is worth $27.5 million, Rodgers is easily worth in excess of $40 million.
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