Early on Thursday, Raj Mathai of NBC Bay Area announced that the San Francisco 49ers had reached an agreement with Jimmy Garoppolo on a contract that would make him the highest paid player in the league.
Three minutes later, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported that the deal was for five years, at a clip of $137.5 million.
Chaos broke out on Twitter, with everyone arguing about whether the 49ers overpaid for a quarterback that only had seven starts. Some said it was too much to give to someone with very limited experience, others said it was fine to go get your guy. One thing was clear, though. the 49ers were not messing around. They had the cap space to make this happen, and they still have a ton of money left for when free agency starts.
Later, even though it seemed to get lost in the shuffle of the chaos, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reported that the contract will be worth $27.5 million over five years, with $74 million in total guarantees.
Then, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that the 49ers will dish out $90 million over the first three years. Most people expected them to front load the contract with the cap space they have.
That is all the money information that has been reported. The club has confirmed.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) February 9, 2018
Could this contract come back to bite the 49ers? Sure. A ton of things can happen. He has only played seven games, but like the fans, the 49ers front office seems to have all the confidence in the world in Garoppolo after seven starts. Rightfully so.
With Garoppolo, the 49ers scored on 62% of their drives. Without him, they scored on 29% of their drives. Tom Brady’s Patriots come in second place, scoring on 51% of their drives, all per Locked on 49ers.
As for some small sample size stats, Garoppolo has led the 49ers to more points per game than any other quarterback in the last 25 seasons, with 28.3 PPG.
He also has the second highest passer rating with a minimum 250+ pass attempts, with 99.7, right behind Aaron Rodgers.
Garoppolo will be the leader of this team for a long time. He will not be the highest paid quarterback of all time for much longer, though. Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, and Kirk Cousins will all likely surpass Garoppolo’s mark.
The 49ers still have a lot of money to build around Garoppolo. 49ers Hub threw out this hypothetical to show just how much cap space they have.
The #49ers didn’t handicap themselves by signing Garoppolo to a 27.5 mil/year deal.
For kicks and giggles:
The #49ers could sign Le’Veon Bell for 16 mil and Allen Robinson for about 14 (maybe 15) and still have roughly 60 mil in cap space.
— 49ers HUB (@49ersHub) February 8, 2018
With Garoppolo now locked in, he will have a full offseason to learn the Kyle Shanahan offense, which is notoriously hard to learn. However, he did show he was a quick learner. Shanahan’s offense is built around play action and short, timing based throws. With his quick release, Garoppolo excelled in a limited amount of time. He had a 105.5 passer rating on passes of 1-9 yards, according to Pro Football Focus.
If he can continue to grow and get better, the 49ers locked up their franchise quarterback for many years to come, on a deal that will likely look pretty cheap in the not so distant future.