Jimmy G gets $48.7 million fully guaranteed at signing

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The numbers are out regarding the Jimmy Garoppolo. They appear below, along with a full analysis of the terms and the deal.

1. $7 million signing bonus.

On a five-year deal, the low bonus results in a cap charge of only $1.4 million per year.

2. $28 million fully-guaranteed roster bonus.

For a cap-rich team like the 49ers, this device gives Garoppolo a bunch of money at signing, and chews up all of the cap space immediately, with no proration.

3. 2018 base salary of $6.2 million, fully guaranteed at signing.

The first-year salary in any long-term deal is almost always guaranteed as a practical matter; who’s going to cut the guy the same year they signed him?

4. 2019 base salary of $17.2 million guaranteed for injury at signing, $7.5 million of which is fully guaranteed at signing.

While the breakdown from Adam Schefter of ESPN.com isn’t entirely clear on this point, it appears that the full guarantee vests on April 1, a late (relatively speaking) deadline. The 49ers used the same device in the Colin Kaepernick deal, giving them an extended chance to make a decision about whether to continue the deal.

5. 2020 base salary of $23.8 million, $15.7 million of which is guaranteed for injury at signing.

Injury guarantees often are meaningless, but in the event of a serious injury, it’s essentially a free insurance policy. The 2020 injury guarantee apparently becomes a full guarantee on April 1, giving the 49ers some flexibility in determining whether to keep him.

6. 2021 base salary of $24.1 million and 2022 base salary of $24.2 million.

These are non-guaranteed amounts and, essentially, club options for the final two years of the deal.

7. Workout bonuses of $600,000 for 2018 through 2022. (Total value: $3.2 million.)

Garoppolo undoubtedly will meet the annual participation threshold and earn these amounts every year.

8. Per-game roster bonuses of $800,000 for 2018 through 2022. (Total value: $3.2 million.)

While many assume that per-game roster bonuses are money in the bank, an injury can be costly, as Aaron Rodgers learned in 2017. For Garoppolo, every game includes $50,000 that he receives only if he suits up.

9. Further injury guarantee of $7.5 million.

The breakdown from Schefter explains that a $7.5 million injury guarantee applied if Garoppolo “makes it to NFC Championship game or is first- or second-team All Pro.” It’s unclear whether this applies only to the 2021 season or other years of the deal, and there’s no mention of the year(s) in which the incentive applies.

10. The cash flow is $46.2 million through 2018, $61.2 million through 2019, $86.4 million through 2020, $111.9 million through 2021, and $137.5 million through 2022.

Schefter claims that the $61.2 million through two years represents a $10 million bump over what Garoppolo would have made under the franchise tag through 2019. That’s accurate only if the 49ers would have used the non-exclusive tag; if they would have applied the exclusive version of the tag (cutting off another team’s ability to sign him away in exchange for two first-round picks), the gap would have been more like $5 million.

Schefter also says that, after three seasons, Garoppolo “walks away” with $86.4 million. While he’ll indeed make that much over three years (roughly $4 million less than three years of the non-exclusive tag and more than $10 million less than three years of the exclusive tag), Garoppolo won’t be walking away. The 49ers will still hold his rights for two years and $48.3 million — an average of $24.15 million per year. By then, the market for franchise quarterbacks should be well north of $30 million.

For a guy who didn’t get a big-money rookie deal and who has started only seven games, it makes sense to cash in. Still, he could have ultimately done better by forcing two or three years of the tag, especially since 2021 and 2022 would have been the first two years of a market-value contract, not the below-market back end of a five-year deal.

That said, it’s easier for a player who already has banked millions to take that risk. For Garoppolo, a second-round pick in 2014, the safe move arguable was to take the large bird in the hand in lieu of the slightly larger bird in the bush. This dynamic actually makes the willingness of Kirk Cousins to play tag in two straight years even more impressive, given that he entered the league as a fourth-round pick. Two years and $44 million later, he’ll either hit the market unfettered or make $34.47 million if Washington is dumb enough to tag him again.

47 responses to “Jimmy G gets $48.7 million fully guaranteed at signing

  1. That’s crazy based on his body of work. Of course I wish him the best and hope he has a lot of success going forward. He seems smart and skilled but a little soft to me. Time will tell.

  2. Injury guarantees are important too for a guy who has only started 7 games and got hurt in his second start pretty seriously to where he would have been out most of the season had Brady not been coming back anyway that year.

  3. Can’t fault Jimmy. If someone is going to offer you that kind of money, you take it. Just an insane amount of money for the limited amount of work.

    Still haven’t seen enough from him to think he is the real deal but he also hasn’t clearly proven that he isn’t.

  4. In 3 years all of the people who said he was getting overpaid will see how the market has exploded and realize that this was a smart deal by the 49ers.

  5. Good for him. No idea if he’s worth it, or is the next Scott Mitchell, but we’ll all know soon enough.

    As for anyone who thinks NE should have somehow kept him, or got hosed by only getting a 2nd round pick (plus a back-up who already knew the system), I have no idea what you are looking at. JG was about to be a free agent. If JG wanted to play there, SF could have had him for this deal without giving up the 2nd rounder. Or NE could have franchised him and then attempted to trade a guy who had played in a total of 1.5 games up to that point and was on the books for something like 25 mil for the coming year – and no one in their right mind would give up a 2nd rounder for that.

    So, NE made the best deal they could, and the 49ers obviously loooove what they seen.

  6. I love how everyone is complaining that he got too much. Do you really believe he’s going to be the richest qb? This will be top 10, maybe top 5 but it won’t be the most. Drew brees will get $25 mil a year. Rodgers, Wilson (when they redo his contract), Ryan, Cousins, etc. They will all be breaking the bank. This was a good deal for both sides.

  7. Not as bad a move for the 49ers as it first seemed. Basically a 3 year deal with 2 years of club options. Will look like a steal in years 4 and 5 particularly once you factor in the 2 lombardies he’ll be winning.

  8. Money well spent!! I truly haven’t felt this good about my 49ers in a long time! The same feeling I had when we drafted Tom Rathman.. ! Let’s go 9er’s.. Jimmy G baby!!.

  9. They weren’t going to tag him and leave any tiny opening for New England to get him back in case something goes wrong with Brady. Smart move.

  10. He absolutely is right to take this deal! It is unknown yet if he is the real deal but I like what I have seen so far. I think Lynch decided he was worth the risk. It is almost too bad they played themselves out of position to take Barclay. That would give him a nice compliment.

  11. If I was Cousins and hitting the market as an unrestricted free agent I would want a fully guaranteed contract. 5 years, 150 million fully guaranteed. Will sign the first one to hit my desk.

    Players complain about their contracts not being fully guaranteed but it is only because no one has the stones to make a stand on it. Cleveland or the J-E-T-S or the Broncos would gave and give it up and set the precedent. And if no one did offer it there would be a heck of a case for collusion against the league.

  12. Im not sold on his skill, but there’s no doubt he is a guy whos energy improves those around him and seems to have a high football IQ.. IMO those factors are what made Payton Manning great (his arm never was and he wasnt mobile) and still makes Tom Brady great (no matter how great he has always needed a clean pocket you can directly correlate his down years to not having good protection).. if you dont have a franchise QB these days you have to take shot even if its a 50/50 chance you got your guy

  13. Why would you force a tag? For a QB with little starting experience I think he leveraged the small sample size as well as he could. If he forces a tag for more money and ends up tanking his second year, he’s out of luck. Or if he gets a catastrophic injury, he’s out of luck. This deal provides a historic amount of money up front, while leveraging a very small sample size into a lifetime payout. If he flames out on this deal, it’s hurts the Niners, not him. If he flames out on a tag, only he’s hurt.

  14. Smart move by the 49ers. Better than drafting an unknown from Bud Light State.
    Like Johnny Football but he was well known… Except to the Browns

  15. Looks like a solid deal. 3 years, with 2 club options. Will look like a steal considering JimmyG will be bringing a couple lombardies to the Bay in the next half decade.

  16. So odd, since Sam Bradford received $50M “Guaranteed” YEARS AGO before ever sporting a Saint Louie Rams practice jersey lol

    The NFL is just so wa$teful, isn’t it lol

  17. And this is why the NFLPA signed off on Thursday night games. They may all complain about playing on Thursday nights, but none of them complain when they sign their contracts.

  18. NFL is ruthless. Richard Sherman has played at a All Pro level for 3 -4 years and basically never missed a start up til his Achilles giving out in the Arizona Thursday Nighter…….immediately he is being shamed into taking a massive pay cut or being released. Only sport where a guy gives you everything every week…..finally has to go on the shelf and be repaired and it’s undercut him and bring in a new bell cow for cheap.

  19. This is a pretty good contract for the 49ers, they’ve really protected themselves if he’s awful. There will be a $13 million (or so) dead cap hit next year if they release him, but using all that cap space this year, in a year they have a ton of it, effectively allows them to give him a “multi year” contract that could just as easily be a 1 year contract. It’s an expensive test drive, but it gives them some protection if the QB who had a 7/5 TD to INT ratio last year turns out to be Osweiler 2.0.

  20. TheWizard says:
    February 9, 2018 at 5:29 pm
    Remember Scott Mitchell?

    Yeah, he took the Lions to the playoffs twice.


    If he did then he did one year at 9-7. Hardly stunning. The other at 10-6 ….his only truly good year. Career 75.3 rating, like 160 yards passing per game, 32-39 lifetime average. OP is right. Remember Scott Mitchell? Overpaid for 7 games of work in Marino’s absence.

  21. If he did then he did one year at 9-7. Hardly stunning

    Stafford is allegedly this great quarterback and he hasn’t fared any better than Mitchell.

    One of the two narratives out there is obviously wrong.

  22. The Redskins should follow through on their threat to tag Cousins again, and then trade the next year’s 5 1st rd draft picks to S.F. for Jimmy G. That way they can set a record for having $90 million in cap tied up in 3 QBs. Come on Dan Snyder. Think big….think outside the box.

  23. it’s not like he was running a gimmick offence that will take only a few games to figure out and then that will be end of that. He went to a team that was stinking it up, played “professional style” QB, and had success where others did not.

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