The San Francisco 49ers saw all they needed from Jimmy Garoppolo and on Thursday, they committed to him in a big way. Garoppolo and the 49ers agreed to a five-year, $137.5 million contract that will make him the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. NFL Network's Mike Garafolo first reported word of the deal.
Garoppolo, who the team acquired for its 2018 second-round pick, performed well in six games for the 49ers. He completed 67.4 percent of his 178 pass attempts for 1,564 yards and an 8.76 yards per attempt. For comparison, Garoppolo's yds/a would have led the league last season and the fourth-highest completion percentage if projected over a full season.
Immediately upon seeing a $27.5 million average annual salary, the highest in the NFL, will leave many fans shocked and dumbfounded. Consider though that Kirk Cousins will surpass $28-plus million per season on the open market, while Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees should also reset the tiers for quarterback pay and push Garoppolo down the list.
San Francisco could afford to hand out $27.5 million AAV to Garoppolo given its immense salary cap. In fact, the 49ers could easily make this a front-loaded contract to better fit in with the team's $116 million available in cap space as they enter the offseason. A front-loaded deal would save money for them to spend elsewhere in future seasons and they'll still have a substantial amount of spending money to upgrade the offensive line and weapons around Garoppolo this offseason.
We should only see further improvements from Garoppolo going forward and the 49ers' offense will be exciting to watch next season. Garoppolo and head coach Kyle Shanahan will have a full offseason to work together, a process that will help open up the full playbook from one of the game's most creative offensive minds for the coming years.
Pierre Garcon will be healthy in 2018 and with further developments by Trent Taylor will strengthen the team's secondary receiving options as they pursue a potential No.1 receiver.
San Francisco now has its long-term answer at quarterback locked up and given the team's level of salary cap remaining to spend, this will be a favorite 'breakout' team in NFL circles for next season.