The San Francisco 49ers and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo are staying together for another season despite rumors of divorce throughout the offseason. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday, sources said that Garoppolo and the 49ers settled on a reworked one-year contract with a fully guaranteed base salary of $6.5 million.
A total of $500,000 is available in roster incentives and playtime bonuses under the revised contract, bringing the maximum value of the agreement to $16 million. The no-trade and no-tag clauses in Garoppolo’s reworked contract guarantee that he will be Trey Lance’s backup this year and that he will be able to explore free agency in 2023.
A source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that Garoppolo is willing to help the team and wants to play again this season alongside his teammates, but that he and the 49ers have discussed the possibility of waiving the no-trade provision if something develops and the 49ers can get compensation.
The salary cap amount for 2022 that includes Garoppolo will be between $18 and 19 million less than the $26.9 million that was projected when the new contract was negotiated.
After the Niners were unable to trade for him during the offseason and training camp, the possibility of Garoppolo remaining with the team increased. It was practically hard to trade for a replacement quarterback after Garoppolo underwent right shoulder surgery in March, and by the time he returned throwing in late June, most quarterback-needy teams had already gone in a different way.
On July 26, the first day of training camp, Garoppolo showed up on time and got the all-clear from the team doctor. However, he didn’t show up to any meetings or practices since the 49ers hadn’t given him an iPad with the playbook on it.
Garoppolo spent his time during Niners practice working on a side field, completing the throwing exercises recommended for his shoulder recovery.
The #49ers and QB Jimmy Garoppolo are finalizing a new contract that will make him the highest paid backup in the NFL, sources tell me and @MikeGarafolo. A solution that keeps Jimmy G on the roster while making clear it’s Trey Lance’s team going forward. pic.twitter.com/HZJf5Zc48m
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 29, 2022
The Niners always made it seem like they had the option of keeping Garoppolo at his old salary, even if that was never likely. If a trade couldn’t be made, bringing him back at a discount was always a viable alternative.
No scenario, according to Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan on August 23rd, has been ruled out in regards to Garoppolo.
Now the Niners not only have one of the most expensive backup quarterbacks in the league but also one who is familiar with the playbook and who started games last season and in Super Bowl LIV.
Given the team’s history with backup quarterbacks under Shanahan, that’s saying a lot. Although the Niners went 1-1 in Lance’s two starts as a rookie, his season was cut short by thumb and knee injuries. Since Shanahan’s arrival in 2017, the Niners are 8-28 when starting a quarterback besides Garoppolo. When Garoppolo is the starter, the team has a 35-16 record.
With a.673 winning %, he was the sixth-best quarterback in the NFL over that span who made at least 10 starts. In 52 games with the Niners (including the playoffs), Garoppolo has completed 67.1% of his passes (sixth in the NFL in that span) for an average of 8.33 yards per attempt and 12,124 passing yards (seventh most in franchise history) (first in the NFL in that time among qualified starters).
Garoppolo has had some success, but he’s also had some problems with injuries and interceptions. Due to problems with his knees, ankles, calves, and thumbs, he was sidelined for 25 games between 2018 and 2021. Since he became the starter at the tail end of 2017, he has thrown 44 interceptions, which is tied for 12th most in the league. His touchdown-to-interception ratio of 1.59 places him in the bottom third.
The Niners maintained throughout the offseason that they wouldn’t give up Garoppolo without a fight. They thought 2021 was an interesting year, and he handled it well. Now, as Garoppolo swaps places with Lance, he’ll have to deal with another potentially uncomfortable situation.
“I think Jimmy Garoppolo deserves a ton of credit because of the way he handled the situation,” stated general manager John Lynch after the season. “Competition brings out the best in everyone, and it clearly did for Jimmy, but the way he also welcomed Trey and assisted him along the road was a really beautiful thing to see. Also, I think it says a lot about his character.”
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