Rams Sign QB Jimmy Garoppolo

MARCH 20: The Rams are giving Garoppolo a one-year deal that includes a $4.5MM base value, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. Incentives can move the value of this contract to $12MM, but that will likely depend on whether a Stafford injury gives Garoppolo an opportunity to make starts.

MARCH 15: Jimmy Garoppolo‘s free agency will not last long. Despite receiving a two-game PED suspension, the former 49ers and Raiders starter will land in a popular spot.

The Rams are signing the veteran to back up Matthew Stafford, per the NFL Network’s Peter Schrager and Mike Garafolo. Garoppolo closed last season as a backup but has extensive experience as a starter. Coming from the Kyle Shanahan offense will certainly help Garoppolo here as well. The 32-year-old passer agreed to a one-year deal.

By mid-September of the past six seasons, Garoppolo has been viewed as a starter. He signed a three-year, $72.75MM deal to rejoin Josh McDaniels, but the 10-year QB’s stock has nosedived since. Missing two games due to injury early in the season, Garoppolo wound up on the bench once the Raiders fired McDaniels. He served as Aidan O’Connell‘s backup during the season’s second half but incurred the PED ban early this offseason, giving the Raiders a way to avoid paying out the QB’s 2024 guarantees. Garoppolo became a post-June 1 cut earlier this week.

Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay use schemes derived from the Mike Shanahan-Gary Kubiak system, as both were on Mike Shanahan’s Washington staff in the 2010s. Tweaks have naturally occurred, but this stands to be an easier transition compared to Garoppolo landing in an entirely new offense. He appears all set to replace Carson Wentz as Stafford’s caddy.

The Rams turned to Wentz after a rough Brett Rypien start in Green Bay. Stafford missed much of the 2022 season due to injury but was only down for one game last year — a bounce-back slate for the cannon-armed starter. Wentz, who remained in free agency until November last year, is back on the market.

Garoppolo’s return to McDaniels’ system did not go well; he managed nine interceptions in six starts as Davante Adams fumed. Garoppolo was certainly much better under Shanahan, averaging 8.3 yards per attempt and guiding the team to two NFC championship games and Super Bowl LIV. QBR placed Garoppolo 16th in 2022 — prior to his broken foot introducing the NFL to Brock Purdy — and slotted him in 13th and 12th, respectively, in 2021 and 2019.

This will still be an interesting switch for Garoppolo, who faced the Rams many times as the 49ers’ starter. Garoppolo went 8-0 against Los Angeles in the regular season, but McVay’s team reversed the trend in the ’21 NFC decider.

After using John Wolford as his primary backup for four years, McVay provided an interesting chapter in Baker Mayfield‘s career. The five-game Rams cameo helped the former No. 1 pick finish the 2022 season on a better note, and McVay also went the veteran route with Wentz. This pattern will continue with Garoppolo, who played effectively when Trey Lance went down early in the ’22 season. Given Stafford’s run of injuries — maladies he has largely played through — Garoppolo will play an important role in L.A.

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