Garoppolo details will say plenty about true value of the deal

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Yes, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has raised the quarterback market by $500,000 per year. But there’s still much to be learned about what the contract is truly worth.

Matt Maicco of NBC Sports California supplements the five-year, $137.5 million total-package report with news that the deal contains $74 million in total guarantees. As we’ve learned, time and again, that’s just the beginning.

Key factors include the signing bonus and the total amount that is truly and fully guaranteed at signing. The triggers for future guarantees will also be important, given the team’s use of the very late annual date of April 1 as the moment when Colin Kaepernick‘s salaries converted from injury-only to fully-guaranteed.

It also will be interesting to see whether the 49ers foisted onto Garoppolo and his agent, Don Yee, other devices that were used in the Kaepernick deal, including a requirement that the player purchase disability insurance that would be payable to the team in the event he suffered a career-ending injury.

Regardless of the structure, Garoppolo should have forced the team to apply the franchise tag before doing a long-term deal. If the 49ers had used the exclusive version of the tag, he could have asked for more than $97 million over the first three years of a long-term deal based on the tag. If they’d opted to go with the non-exclusive tag, it would have been fair to seek $90 million over three years. Either formula likely will be better than what he’ll get under the first three years of the contract he signed.

Apart from the tag providing a better starting point for Garoppolo than simply trying to one-up Matthew Stafford (who averages $27 million per year), there’s value in commencing the process of collecting franchise tags, since a third career tag (whether with the 49ers or another team) would have given Garoppolo significant leverage in the form of a 44-percent raise over his cap number from the prior year.

For now, we’ll wait for the full details to be made available, as they always are. At that point, it will be easier to praise, or to criticize, the decision of Garoppolo and Yee to trade the ability to play the year-to-year game of tag with whatever the specific package may be that he obtained from the team.

Whatever the numbers, it’s only a matter of time before the current highest-paid player in the game no longer is. Whether it’s Drew Brees, Kirk Cousins, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, or someone else, it’s just a matter of time (as in weeks) before Garoppolo surrenders the throne.

29 responses to “Garoppolo details will say plenty about true value of the deal

  1. I understand that QB is the most important position on the field. However, if these QB salaries continue the way they are, all the other players are going to have to be 7th rounders or undrafted free agents to keep the payroll straight.

  2. mrbiggstuff says:
    February 8, 2018 at 2:25 pm
    Paying for potential. A recipe for disaster.

    ————–

    True, but paying for past performance is often a recipe for disaster too, particularly when it came with an other team that may have had better players or coaches.

    In this case, I think the games the Garoppolo started in SF proved him. He took a team that was struggling and completely dominated. Sure, the league will catch up to him a bit once the film is out there all offseason, but he’s pretty great. Particularly the quick release combined with strength and accuracy. Very similar to Marino. Hard to get to a guy like that.

    Only concerns I still have for Jimmy G is he doesn’t always feel the pressure yet, which he can fix and he hasn’t proven to be durable so far.

  3. Desperation is ugly! Wow 7 starts and no highest paid. Cousins, Case, and not to mention Matty ICE and AA are going to destroy the salaries caps of these team. Good job SF, way to overpay.

  4. Every year some QB, or two, or three, sign record breaking deals. Always left out is the context..

    Jimmy G’s contract is about 15% of projected cap. Which was less than Rodgers 18% or Roethlisberger 16% Or Russel Wilson’s 16%.

    The reality is, that’s what you pay to get a QB you believe (or has demonstrated) is a franchise QB.

  5. If I’m following the “Too much. Too Unproven.” side of the debate how is 7-0 with 3 seasons of NFL camps and practices less proven than a kid that played college ball less than 2 months ago and will sign a contract similar to Jimmy G’s before ever even practicing? How can Darnold or Rosen be worth the same or more than a guy that has 3 training camps three preseasons and a bonus of going 7-0 in the regular season.

  6. .
    This may cause the author of the post to have a massive coronary but, ” Sometimes it’s not about the money.”
    .

  7. If you believe you have a “franchise” type QB and more importantly if every other team thinks he’s a franchise QB, you pay up. People are freaking out about Jimmy G’s contract resetting the QB market, but every new “franchise QB” contract resets the market. And if you think what Garoppolo did those last five games can be measured solely by statistics, you just don’t get it (he did more with a bad roster than I’ve seen in some time). Again, if you think you’ve found someone you’re sure can be a top 10 QB (regardless of experience) you pay the man market value. There’s no way around it unless said player has a incompetent agent.

  8. Pretty solid deal for SF. Expensive yes, but the acquisition cost of a groomed young QB was a steal. Just look at the teams without a decent QB, like well… almost everyone..

  9. Did anyone on the 49ers think, “What if he isn’t as good as those 7 starts?”

    If I remember last year at this time Derek Carr and Dak Prescott were getting their busts ready for the HOF.

  10. How would negotiating and leveraging every dollar out of his new club going to make
    his team any better? Are you suggesting Garropolo should have been greedier?
    This article makes it sound like it’s a race to be the highest paid, but it’s not.
    It’s about gearing up and getting stronger as a team, to fight for the Superbowl.

    Making a barely proven player, who has yet to play a full 16 game season, the highest
    paid player in the league, doesn’t seem like the best recipe for success. Love Jimmy,
    but he can’t do it on his own. Need to surround him with quality players, and that takes
    money to be spread around. The upstart QB got more than enough, IMO. Probably too much.

  11. Let’s see how the guarantees work before you see if he should have forced the tag. The tag is year by year and if you get injured or suck you’re screwed. Signing long term may yield less but you get security.

  12. I imagine this will be a lot like the seven-year, $126 million contract Colin Kaepernick signed in 2014.

    “In the end, Kaepernick’s seven-year, $126 million contract turned out to be a three-year deal worth a tad more than $39 million.”

  13. factschecker says:
    February 8, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    If I’m following the “Too much. Too Unproven.” side of the debate how is 7-0 with 3 seasons of NFL camps and practices less proven than a kid that played college ball less than 2 months ago and will sign a contract similar to Jimmy G’s before ever even practicing? How can Darnold or Rosen be worth the same or more than a guy that has 3 training camps three preseasons and a bonus of going 7-0 in the regular season.
    ________

    I guess you haven’t heard about the rookie salary cap tied to draft position, which has been in place since 2011. The first pick in the draft this year is projected to get a contract averaging a little less than $6 million a year. Your comment is a good one, it’s just eight years late.

  14. Whatever the numbers, it’s only a matter of time before the current highest-paid player in the game no longer is. Whether it’s Drew Brees, Kirk Cousins, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, or someone else, it’s just a matter of time (as in weeks) before Garoppolo surrenders the throne.
    ___________________
    Why wouldn’t a true analyst ignore the differences in the very QB’s mentioned in this piece.

    Bree’s, 142-146-0 -Super Bowl win, Ryan 95-63-0, Super Bowl appearance and league MVP, Rodgers 94-48-0, Super Bowl and need I even talk after you watch this dude play? Kirk Cousins, 26-30-1-Zero playoff wins, 1-5 in the division, loss to the 3-13 Giants, and a overall three year resume of 26-30-1.

    How does Kirk Cousins get in this conversation? I mean, really!!!

  15. One of the reasons you pay a quarterback a lot of money is because of his ability to handle big moments and pressure situations. Nobody knows how Jimmy G will handle those situations because he’s never been in one. He had two early-season starts with the Patriots, knowing that it didn’t matter if he won or lost because Tommy would come back and make sure they at least got to the AFC championship. He joined a 1-10 team and won five games that didn’t matter in any way.

    I hope he does well and earns the contract but I wish the 49ers would have franchised him and gotten some more evaluation time before blowing up the market value for every free agent quarterback.

  16. It’s 27mil a season, most too QB’s are @ $25-26 and will grow to about $30 in the coming seasons. Still can’t touch baseball and soccer though..

  17. Garoppolo got all he wanted, he got 27MM/year.
    Is that not enough?
    He has to have it all guaranteed too?

    Keep in mind it’s a hard cap. Every dollar Garoppolo gets is one less dollar another player doesn’t get.

    Garoppolo looks good but it’s a small smaple size, 7 games. I’d like to have seen him perform for an entire season before paying him like that.

    If Garoppolo performs like an above average but not great QB, then will 27MM a year be hurting the team and cause them regret?

  18. Why is it that we are always trying to get the player the most money possible? Jeez PFT, isn’t 27.5/ year enough? How about leaving some on the table so the team can field talent at other positions? You know, kinda like Tom Brady. Brady hasn’t handcuffed the Patriots because he cares more about winning than he does his personal portfolio.
    So sick of these entitled athletes looking out for no one but themselves. Even more sick of the people suggesting how they can make every penny possible. So short sighted. The only people that lose are the fans.

  19. “Little Jimmy had 2 career starts when he turned 26. Three months later he gets a billion dollar contract”

    Lol this from a guy who thought Blaine Gabbert was “great”. I don’t think you’re a very good judge of QB talent. Garrappollo is a keeper.

  20. STOP LYING ABOUT THE WAY FRANCHISE TAGS WORK IN LONG TERM CONTRACTS. If a player is tagged, he only gets to use THAT tag in negotiations, because the others haven’t been exercised. If a team tags a QB for three straight seasons, the team benefits by retaining an out after each season, and the player benefits by getting big salaries. BUT IF THE PLAYER SIGNS A LONG TERM DEAL WITH A LOT OF GUARANTEES, now the risk shifts to the team in the event of decline or injury. ERGO, it behooves the player to surrender some of what he “would make” under the tags that the team might never apply anyways for the security of a long-term deal. WHY SHOULD A TEAM HAVE TO PAY THE TAG PRICES AND TAKE THE LONG TERM RISK WITHOUT THE PLAYER GIVING UP SOMETHING IN RETURN? Answer: they shouldn’t, and they don’t.

  21. I’ve been reading this site since the hamsters were powering the servers. I love you guys. But with all due respect, I hate when you suggest a long term deal for a “franchise quarterback” should be based on 3 consecutive franchise tags.

    Why? What if Garoppolo blows out his knee in year one? Or what if he is just not that good? I mean, to pay him like a franchise quarterback after 7 starts(5 for SF and 7 for NE last year) doesn’t make any sense to me. The 49ers should have tagged him for sure and make him prove he is not a flash in the pan.

    From the Garoppolo side of the argument, take the long term deal and cash the check before they change their minds. It worked for Matt Cassel.

  22. I think Jimmy G may have looked at the Kirk Cousins situation, and decided that he didn’t want to go down that road.

    This narrative that players should focus primarily on maximizing their short-term income by forcing a franchise tag is flawed. There are intangible benefits associated with knowing that you have found a home, and that you can look forward to enjoying your career and building a winning organization. I think Patriots, and ex-Patriots understand that. And certainly the 49ers were once the shining example of that principle, and I hope they will be again.

  23. 20-25m contracts normally kill teams, check the stats. In this case a front loaded contract, with a large signing bonuse, and with easy outs late, this might actually be a good contract. 9ers have a TON of cap space, even if the signing bonus is 60m that would still leave 40+m for salary and new signings… structure will be the key here…

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