It hasn’t quite hit Jimmy Garoppolo yet that he is the highest-paid player in NFL history based on highest per yer average on a long-term deal.
“I was talking to my brothers about it the last 24 hours flying here and everything,” Garoppolo said during a Friday press conference. “If you had asked me as a little kid if I thought this was a reality, probably not. But you always dream about being that NFL quarterback and everything. This is just taking another step in that direction I guess.”
The 49ers had the franchise tag they could have used on the quarterback in the absence of a long-term deal, but both sides wanted the outcome they got Thursday. Garoppolo, acquired by the 49ers from the Patriots at the trade deadline, is signed for the next five years.
“A lot of people kept saying, ‘It’s a difficult process; it’s complex,'” 49ers General Manager John Lynch said. “What I tried to do is keep pushing the button: Hey, he wants to be here; we want him here. Let’s get it done. Why wait?
“. . . A lot of people are going to have a lot of ideas on what could have happened. What I’m concerned about is he’s right here, and he’s signed for five years, and I love that. It took a lot of team work to get that done, and I’m really proud that we did.”
Garoppolo played coy during the regular season, even as he won all five of his starts, about whether he wanted to sign a long-term deal with the 49ers. But Garoppolo said he never had any doubt about his future and where he wanted to spend his career.
Once he arrived in San Francisco, Garoppolo said he was sold on Lynch, Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers.
“I wasn’t careful [about his choice of words]. I knew I wanted to be here,” said Garoppolo, whose deal is worth $137.5 million. “I knew it was just a matter of getting everything figured out. We did that fairly quickly this offseason. I’m excited about it and thankful that it got done so fast. It’s an exciting time right now.”