Jimmy Garoppolo becoming NFL's highest paid: 5 years, $137 million
The San Francisco 49ers and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo have agreed to a five-year, $137.5 million contract, according to NFL Network.
That makes the quarterback from Arlington Heights with a mere seven NFL starts the highest-paid player in NFL history on an average-per-year basis.
It's hard to imagine, seeing these numbers, what Kirk Cousins might get with his next NFL contract. And if you're Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, what are you thinking after seeing this deal?
Garoppolo's situation truly has been unique since arriving in San Francisco at the trade deadline in a swap with the New England Patriots. The 49ers sent a second-round pick (either the 41st or 43rd overall, pending the results of a coin flip) for Garoppolo and his expiring contract. All he did was light it up after arriving, giving the 49ers immense hope for the future.
The Patriots mortgaged their future franchise QB for a continued run with Tom Brady. They both fell a bit short in Super Bowl LII last Sunday.
The 49ers closed last season 5-0 with Garoppolo starting. He threw for 7 TDs, 5 interceptions and 1,560 yards in his six games (five starts) after the trade. Garoppolo previously started two games for the Patriots in place of a suspended Brady to start the 2016 season, winning both games.
Although the 49ers put more talent around Garoppolo, who played at Eastern Illinois University and Rolling Meadows High School, they had more than $100 million in salary-cap space prior to this deal, and it wouldn't be surprising to see a big cap hit incurred this season with so much space once the details of the deal are leaked out. The 49ers know they likely can't use all that money this season in other ways.
They also hold nine draft picks -- even after giving the Patriots their second-rounder. The Niners pick either ninth or 10th in the draft and should be able to beef up the offensive cast around their highly paid QB.
This deal comes with even higher expectations following the thrilling run to end the season. Can Garoppolo live up to this massive contract? We shall see. But the excitement is very much back in the Bay Area again, and the 49ers knew they couldn't let a good thing slip through their fingers after making the trade to get Garoppolo.
• Eric Edholm is a senior editor for Pro Football Weekly. For more on the NFL, visit profootballweekly.com and follow Eric on Twitter @Eric_Edholm or @PFWeekly.