Garoppolo should wait to be tagged, but which tag will the 49ers use?

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It’s one thing for the 49ers to make clear their desire to keep quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo indefinitely. It’s another for them to work out an acceptable contract that properly compensates Garoppolo, without paying him too much.

Garoppolo is represented by Don Yee, who has represented Patriots quarterback Tom Brady through a series of below-market deal. But there’s a belief that Yee, who was more of a bystander for most of Brady’s negotiations with the Patriots, will be looking to swing the pendulum in the other direction with Garoppolo. (Indeed, that’s likely one of the reasons for the New England decision to trade Garoppolo during the 2017 season in lieu of attempting a wait-and-see scenario in 2018. If Garoppolo/Yee are committed to breaking the bank, it becomes hard to finesse a tag-and-trade.)

The first step for Garoppolo/Yee will be (or at least should be) to not do a deal until the 49ers apply one of the three available tags: exclusive franchise tag, non-exclusive franchise tag, or transition tag. If, as most expect, a version of the franchise tag is used, it’s important for Garoppolo to absorb his first career franchise tag now, given that the third career franchise tag unlocks a whopping 44-percent increase over the prior year’s cap number.

Some believe that the 49ers will have no choice but to use the exclusive tag, given that Garoppolo’s late-season performance in 2017 would prompt another team to gladly give up two first-round picks to get him (more on that later). But the exclusive tag could get very expensive; it’s based on the average of the top five quarterback cap numbers, as determined in late April. Currently, that’s $24.88 million. (The top five quarterback cap numbers for 2018 are $26.5 million (Matthew Stafford), $25 million (Derek Carr), $24.75 million (Joe Flacco), $24.4 million (Andrew Luck), and $23.786 million (Russell Wilson).)

With $24.88 million as the starting point, the second year (at a 20-percent raise) becomes $29.86 million. The third year (at 44 percent) spikes to $43 million. That’s $97.7 million over three years.

The non-exclusive tag, which currently is expected to be in the range of $23 million, projects under the same formula to $90.3 million over three years, a drop of $7.4 million. But the non-exclusive tag invites the risk of another team trying to sign Garoppolo to an offer sheet.

Consider two factors in that regard. First, no one offered two first-round picks for Garoppolo a year ago; no one apparently offered even a first-round pick or more. Would someone willingly part with two first-round picks (and a huge contract) now? Second, if another team were to sign Garoppolo to an offer sheet (with a willingness to give up two first-round picks), the 49ers have the cash, cap space, and motivation to match. Which would quickly conclude the negotiations, and place Garoppolo under contract in San Francisco for, presumably, three or four or five years.

If the 49ers truly are committed to matching any offer made to Garoppolo, the transition tag could be tempting. However, since it carries no draft-pick compensation, a team would presumably be willing to offer much more via an offer sheet crafted under the transition tag, since it wouldn’t be giving up two first-round picks.

However it plays out, Garoppolo and Lee should let the next several weeks play out, and wait for the tag to be applied. Given that Garoppolo entered the league via a slotted second-round draft pick, he’d quite possibly pounce on any tag immediately, fully guaranteeing the compensation for the current year, foreclosing the possibility of an offer sheet, and setting the calculations in motion at either $97.7 million or $90.3 million over three years.

28 responses to “Garoppolo should wait to be tagged, but which tag will the 49ers use?

  1. It takes 53 players to make a team but out of the 5 mentioned top paid qb’s none of them made the playoffs.

  2. Last I heard, football is a TEAM sport in EVERY WAY!!! Garop should NOT listen to these talking heads if he is remotely interested in being like the well run Patriots. If he plays greedy and tricks and manipulates the 49ers to tag him like the foolish Redskins did, then the 49ers will get Jimmy G, but they will NOT win a SB!!! And not to mention the incessant DISTRACTION of contract discussions and questions for EVERYBODY ON THE FREAKING TEAM is selfish and not a very good TEAMmate. I hope Jimmy G is SMART and unselfish-like Brady-and play to win-SUPERBOWLS THAT IS!!! The path to the SB is being won by the Patriots cause they do things the RIGHT way, and never the SELFISH way. I mean, seriously, Tom Brady could have pulled this STUNT many times with the Patriots-but he always took under market deals, which is as KEY to them being the perennial winners they are as the “special” coach and QB they are fortunate to have.

    I mean, what has Cousins selfish posturing for HIMSELF and money gotten the Skins in the last three years? Where are they now? They have let to let KEY talent walk and will continue to have to do so being pulled around by the nose with their QB. Which by the way would NEVER have been allowed to happen with the Patriots. I mean for the sake of the team success, they let a guy like Jimmy G walk.

    When is the last time the QB’s making current year ‘MARKET” won a Super Bowl?

  3. I believe Jimmy is the guy. If SF agrees, make him the first fully guaranteed contract in exchange for lower overall cap hits. 5 years, $120m, fully guaranteed at signing. And since they have more cap room than they know what to do with, frontload it. $40m this year, $20m per year after that. Huge reward if he truly is the guy, as you’d have a franchise QB for 4 years on an under market deal going forward.

  4. Matt Flynn
    Mike Glennon
    Matt Cassel
    Kevin Kolb
    Brock Osweiler

    Sorry, but I’d like to see more consistent track record before breaking the bank on a backup quarterback…

  5. The leverage is clearly with Jimmy. There is only one thing that would derail his leverage.. Injury.. Since we are talking ridiculous money that puts anyone on easy street for the rest of their lives I think Garoppolo would be smart to hedge the possibility of injury with some sort of multi year deal that would pay him on or near three years worth of exclusive franchise tagging with a generous guaranteed amount. Sell the deal to the 49ers buy making the out years of the contract more than fair to the 49ers..

  6. It starts around 5 years, 135 million, 92 million guaranteed then move on.

    Jimmy Gs decision was made in NE Feb 2016. Brady gave them a sweetheart deal so their cap hit would be 13 + million for 2016 and 14 million for 2017. If NE wanted Jimmy G to start it’s common sense they’d do it when they had him under contract, 2014 – 2017.

  7. The leverage is clearly with Jimmy. There is only one thing that would derail his leverage.. Injury.. Since we are talking ridiculous money that puts anyone on easy street for the rest of their lives I think Garoppolo would be smart to hedge the possibility of injury with some sort of multi year deal that would pay him on or near three years worth of exclusive franchise tagging with a generous guaranteed amount. Sell the deal to the 49ers buy making the out years of the contract more than fair to the 49ers..

    Something like a ten year $350 million dollar deal with $150 million guaranteed. $30 million guaranteed the first 5 seasons and $40 million a year the final 5 seasons..

  8. Never realized this until now:

    The top five quarterback cap numbers for 2018 are $26.5 million (Matthew Stafford), $25 million (Derek Carr), $24.75 million (Joe Flacco), $24.4 million (Andrew Luck), and $23.786 million (Russell Wilson).

    Holy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. This is why 5 years….

    CBA, Article 16, Section 6, Paragraph 5: Proration: The total amount of any signing bonus shall be prorated over the term of the Player Contract (on a straight-line basis, unless subject to acceleration or some other treatment as provided in this Agreement), with a maximum proration of five years, in determining Team Salary and Salary

  10. If Jimmy “Franchise”’isn’t willing to sign a multi year contract and play under the tag I hope Kyle drafts Josh Allen as a safety net. He is so good throwing on the run on boots and waggles. He’s perfect for the Shanahan version of the West Coast Offense.

    He’s “boom”in the right system./“Bust”in the wrong situation.

    Let’s hope that Jimmy G is signed to a multi year deal though. Paraag and Yee should be able to make that deal happen in their sleep. They’re both excellent at what they do, and have a good relationship.

  11. regaliaimagewear says:
    January 25, 2018 at 10:33 am

    If he plays greedy and tricks and manipulates the 49ers to tag him…
    __________________________________________

    Tricks and manipulates? Garoppolo is a pending FA, something the Niners knew when they traded for him and why they were able to secure his rights and services for only a 2nd round pick. He held his end up and went on a tear and that, not what he did with NE, is what has him and the team in the positions they are now. Taking a ‘discount’ is not something to consider for a 1st FA contract. For teams and players this is business and business is business, it’s only a sport to the fans.

  12. This entire conversation is silly. The Niners want Jimmy GQ — and he wants to be a 49er. They have PLENTY of money and PLENTY cap space. He will agree to a long-term deal this offseason. John Lynch has all but admitted he’s willing to give up $25M a year to keep Jimmy GQ. If that’s the offer, I can’t see Yee and Garoppolo turning it down. End of story.

  13. I think Jimmy is probably smart enough to understand that you can become filthy rich AND leave your team enough cap space to produce a winner on the field. When you fight for such a huge piece of the pie that your team rarely makes the playoffs, sure you may be super disgustingly rich but you’re unlikely to become a champion. Also, there’s really only so much a person can spend in his lifetime. If you love the game and have any competitive spirit at all, championships are priceless to you and you’ll instruct your agent to negotiate reasonably, get a LOT of upfront money, invest it, and then let the team build around you.

  14. There are some teams that are desperate for a quarterback that may win them a super bowl. Teams like Kansas City, Jacksonville, Minnesota, Denver and perhaps even Houston may think that they are one quarterback away from reaching and even winning the Super Bowl. They are likely to give up 2 first round picks for that chance. 2 picks late in the first round is not much good for most teams. Nevertheless, there may be other QBs available, such as Drew Brees and Eli Manning and these quarterbacks have the benefit of having won a Lombardi Trophy before.

  15. Jimmy G waited and paid his dues while seeing younger quarterbacks cash in for more. He’s proven that he can be a quality NFL starter. It’s either a franchise tag or 5 years /$115,000,000. The 49ers fan base would absolutely go nuts on the team if they let him go.

  16. Little Jimmy will be injury prone as a NFL starter. A long term contract is great for Jimmy but will be a major burden by year two for the 49ers.

  17. Oakland’s Carr, $25M… for doing WHAT? AFC Conference Final 2018: Patriots versus Jags. No mention of Carr’s Oakland team, whatsoever, so why $25M? SMH

  18. The Raiders thought that Carr would bring them another Lombardi Trophy. Now they are hoping that Jon Gruden can do it for them. Derek Carr looks more like Andy Dalton and Matthew Stafford than Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. Dalton, Stafford, and Carr make more money than Brady but guess which QB is in the Super Bowl

  19. Yee is all about financial stability in negotiations. In fact, he’s big into getting guys extensions before their contracts expire instead of hitting the open market. 49ers have the money and Yee is the perfect person to negotiate a long-term deal with. He’s not going to advise Garoppolo to take a franchise offer and go through these negotiations each year.

  20. @mmack66 10-1 odds he ends up back in New England. Ok I’ll take 10 grand on those odds! Be ready to pay me $100K. You apparently are too stupid to know what the Franchiae Tag is and how it works. He’s getting exclusive tagged if they don’t work out a long term deal. Either way he’s not going anywhere! He is legit.
    And to the other idiot comparing him to other backup QB’s like Cassel, Flynn, etc. How about this, Favre, Young, Eli Manning, Goff, etc started out backing up Vet QB’s. System is big too and Shanahan’s system is top notch. He will be a top 8 QB, maybe higher

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