49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo could have applied more pressure and leverage to the team, getting an even better deal than the one he got. So why didn’t he?
“Because this is where I want to be, honestly,” Garoppolo told reporters on Friday. “I wanted to get this deal done as fast as possible, and it’s only going to help our team going forward, going into free agency, and it’s 75 degrees out here. It’s not a snowstorm like Chicago. We just came from that, so I can speak on that. It’s a lot better here. You know, I don’t know. There’s other factors that go into it, too. That’s a big part. And so it’s just, I don’t know, I wanted to be here I was excited to be here, and I’m happy we got it done as fast as we did.”
It’s hard to imagine a guy with seven career starts getting more than the most that any player in NFL history ever has gotten, but that’s what his circumstances dictated. And it could have been more costly for the team, if Garoppolo had been determined to get every possible dollar.
Indeed, if he’d declined to do a long-term deal and play on a year-to-year basis, he could have made $90 million (if subject to the non-exclusive tag) or $97 million (if given the exclusive tag) before hitting the open market in 2021 — and beating whatever the top of the market will be at that point.
Instead, he’ll likely be underpaid in 2021 at $24.1 million, the same way that Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson currently are at $22 million and $21.9 million, respectively. But Garoppolo will have made about $86 million by then. For a guy who played college football at Eastern Illinois, who arrived in the NFL via round two, and who has spent most of his career sitting on the bench, that’s a damn good outcome.