Jimmy Garoppolo

AFC East Notes: Darnold, Patriots, Allen

Two rookies remain unsigned: Sam Darnold and Roquan Smith. The Jets are working on a deal with a quarterback they’ve been thrilled about throughout the offseason, one who was supposed to have a legitimate chance at a Week 1 starting job, but Darnold’s camp absence isn’t doing him any favors. Offset language was thought to be a sticking point here, but NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport notes (video link) that isn’t the case (or isn’t any longer). Instead, the quarterback’s guarantees — and how and when they would void — represent why the former USC standout hasn’t signed. Void issues have also come up in the Bears’ discussions with Smith. CAA represents both Darnold and Smith. The Jets began their first practice this afternoon.

Here’s the latest from the AFC East:

  • A former AFC East quarterback was not planning to leave during what turned out to be his final offseason in the division. Jimmy Garoppolo was searching for Boston-area real estate last summer, Joon Lee of Bleacher Report notes. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe adds this should help put an end to speculation the Patriots were planning all along to unload their former backup quarterback. Volin writes Bill Belichick was indeed overruled about a plan to keep Garoppolo as the heir apparent — which would have induced complex math because of the current 49ers quarterback’s rookie contract expiring and Tom Brady not yet retired — before an 11th-hour trade to San Francisco.
  • Brady did not deny that he communicated with Josh McDaniels during the period after the Super Bowl when he backtracked on accepting the Colts’ HC job, the longtime Patriots quarterback said Saturday (via James Palmer of NFL.com, on Twitter). When asked if he spoke with his then-outgoing OC about potentially staying in New England instead, Brady said he “always” talks to McDaniels, who is now back for a seventh season in his second stint as Pats OC.
  • Julian Edelman addressed his suspension Saturday and said this second straight September off will allow him to get his knee fully ready to go. “It’s disappointing with the penalty and the findings,” Edelman said, via Doug Kyed of NESN.com. “And I’m definitely accountable for that. I have to follow the protocols a little better and make sure this never happens again.” Edelman contested the suspension but saw his appeal fail. The 10th-year slot receiver tore an ACL during the 2017 preseason but is expected to be ready to go upon his now-October debut date.
  • Josh Allen‘s been the best Bills quarterback in camp thus far, Joe Buscaglia of WKBW observes. The raw Wyoming-honed talent outshined A.J. McCarron and Nathan Peterman on Saturday, per Buscaglia. Both of the older QBs are believed to be competing for Buffalo’s Week 1 job, with Allen believed to be set to watch as his career begins.

Extra Points: Kaepernick, Raiders, Greg Little, Cardinals

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider were deposed in the collusion grievance filed by Colin Kaepernick this week, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link).

Expanding on the subject, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio recounts that the “Seahawks were planning to bring in the quarterback for a workout, but the team canceled the session when Kaepernick declined to commit to stand for the national anthem.” 

Despite the case, Carroll has not closed the door on the former 49ers quarterback joining the team. As Florio writes, however, “It would be awkward, to say the least, for Kaepernick to sign with Seattle after his lawyers questioned Schneider and Carroll under oath…”

Seattle is still the only team to have brought Kaepernick in for a visit since hitting free agency after the 2016 season. This long saga still appears to be far from a conclusion.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Earlier this week, the Raiders signed longtime Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson to a one-year deal. The details of that contract came out today, with the 13-year pro set to make $1.5MM. The contract includes a $200,000 signing bonus and $500,000 total guaranteed. With incentives, the deal could top out at $2.25MM, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweets.
  • Former Browns receiver Greg Little appeared at the Cardinals rookie minicamp, Kyle Odegard of azcardinals.com writes. Little, who hasn’t played a game since the 2014 season, was a promising second-round pick who flamed out after three seasons. The Cardinals offered the 28-year-old wideout a tryout this weekend and impressed new head coach Steve Wilks.
  • ESPN’s Dan Graziano took a crack at projecting the next big-money quarterbacks. To no one’s surprise, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tops the list in 2020, but the sides are expected to come to a deal before that time. Among the other signal-callers who could surpass Kirk Cousins‘ big deal are Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz and Jimmy Garoppolo.

49ers Accepted Patriots’ Jimmy Garoppolo Offer “In 10 Minutes”

Kyle Shanahan said he met with Bill Belichick at the 2017 Combine and asked the Patriots’ top decision-maker about Jimmy Garoppolo‘s availability, and the then-rookie 49ers coach was told the then-Pats backup quarterback was not on the block.

The 49ers did not have a quarterback on their roster at that point and were pessimistic about former Shanahan pupil Kirk Cousins‘ availability as well.

At that time, the only guys we thought were franchise quarterbacks that were being mentioned were Kirk and Jimmy,” Shanahan told Albert Breer of SI.com in an expansive interview. “And I knew Kirk wasn’t going to be a possibility. And I remember asking Bill personally down at the combine about Jimmy, and very quickly he told me that wasn’t a possibility. So we moved on from that. He told me he wasn’t going to trade him.”

However, Shanahan confirmed to Breer the Patriots contacted him on Oct. 30 with a Garoppolo offer. The Patriots’ trade-process timeline is murky, but on the 49ers end, it didn’t take long to finish this agreement.

Shanahan went to John Lynch and the duo decided to accept New England’s proposal of a second-round pick for the contract-year passer, Breer reports. Shanahan indicated to Breer he was shocked when informed Garoppolo was now available, and while he was concerned about having to make a decision about a long-term contract based on a small sample size, Lynch reassured him they would use the franchise tag to buy them time if necessary.

There really was,” Shanahan said when asked if there as a moment of shock when the Patriots called him. “We were 0–8. We’d just gotten our asses kicked by Philly. I came in on a Monday and that was the last thing I was thinking about. And that ended up popping up. It’s different, because it’s a big deal; we want those draft picks. We know have a ways to go; we want to build this organization the right way. And what worried me was having to decide long-term on a guy in just a few games.”

The 49ers did not need to use their contingency plan, signing Garoppolo to a record five-year, $137MM extension. The Patriots’ about-face on Garoppolo ended up being a franchise-changing moment for the 49ers, who may not have been as quick to match a Browns would-be offer of the Texans’ first-round pick. But Cleveland did not have a chance to deal for Garoppolo during the small time window he was available, with the call coming to Shanahan and the first-year San Francisco power structure deciding in minutes to pull the trigger.

Shanahan’s Cousins exploration did not deter a Garoppolo deal, with the 49ers having moved on after their new quarterback’s 5-0 start. But they were interested in Cousins last offseason. Now that Cousins is expected to be available, the 49ers are set at sports’ marquee position.

The now-second-year HC, however, told Breer they hadn’t closed the door on Cousins even after trading for Garoppolo. This extension will close the door on the Cousins-to-San Francisco rumors, likely for good.

Yeah, of course, it was there,” Shanahan told Breer about the franchise’s Cousins interest after the Garoppolo trade. “Everyone knows how I feel about Kirk. And for anybody who knows how I feel about Kirk, I think this shows how I feel about Jimmy, the fact that we ended up doing this. I’m not a guy who’s going to get excited and just go with the momentum, at all. I usually do the opposite, question it to make sure I’m absolutely confident, and not go with the momentum or the excitement.

Talking about Kirk, understanding where he could be in the next year, for me to feel this way about Jimmy? It says a lot about Jimmy.”

Reactions To Jimmy Garoppolo Contract

On Thursday, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo signed the richest contract in the NFL when the 49ers inked him to a five-year, $137.5MM deal. The Niners’ new signal-caller talked to reporters on Friday and said he wanted to get a deal done as fast as possible.

This is where I want to be, honestly,” he said. “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.”

San Francisco’s chief contract negotiator Paraag Marathe said the deal was a simple one. “John [Lynch] and Kyle [Shanahan] decide if he’s the man. If he’s the man, then we pay the man.” Though they were aggressive with the deal, 49ers general manager John Lynch said they were “going to be aggressively prudent” going forward, the Sacramento Bee’s Matt Barrows writes.

Here’s a look at some of the others reactions to the deal:

  • Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio said Garoppolo could’ve gotten more from the 49ers by “forcing two or three years of the tag, especially since 2021 and 2022 would have been the first two years of a market-value contract, not the below-market back end of a five-year deal.”
  • Andrew Brandt of The MMQB is a fan of the deal for the 49ers (Twitter link). He says that despite the leverage Garoppolo held in the situation, San Francisco still made out with a “two years and we’ll see” deal.
  • Marathe also said the team has between $62-63MM in cap space, NBC Sports’ Mike Maiocco tweets. Though Lynch said the team will be conservative, San Francisco is set up to spend big if it wants to make an immediate push.
  • ESPN’s Dan Graziano also thinks this is a steal for the 49ers. “But beyond this year, the only remaining guarantee is $7.5 million of his $17.2 million 2019 salary. … Basically, the Niners, who were projected to have about $100 million in cap space this year, used $37 million of it by front-loading this deal now, when they can afford to pay anything.”

49ers Notes: Garoppolo, CBs, Marsh, Brown

Jimmy Garoppolo‘s five-year, $137MM 49ers deal will pay out $86.4MM in its first three seasons, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (Facebook link). This landmark agreement contains $74.1MM in injury guarantees and comes with a $28MM guaranteed roster bonus and $7MM signing bonus. Garoppolo’s 2018 base salary of $6.2MM is fully guaranteed as well. He will collect $42.6MM in the first year of the deal, Schefter reports. Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets Garoppolo will account for a $37MM cap figure this season. The 49ers entered the negotiations with more than $100MM in projected cap space.

Of Garoppolo’s $17.2MM 2019 base, $7.5MM of that is guaranteed at signing. Overall, $48.7MM of this deal is fully guaranteed at signing, Albert Breer of SI.com tweets. Despite the full contract being for a record amount, the agreement falls short of the $60MM in full guarantees Matthew Stafford received last year. Garoppolo’s two-year earnings will come in at $61.2MM, which Andrew Brandt of TheMMQB.com categorizes (Twitter link) as the true guarantee. This is $10MM more than the 26-year-old quarterback would have received had he been franchise-tagged two straight times as Kirk Cousins was, with these negotiations surely taking this into consideration.

Garoppolo’s 2020 base comes in at $23.8MM — $15.7MM of which is guaranteed for injury. The former second-round pick’s $24.1MM and $24.2MM base salaries for 2021 and 2022 are not guaranteed, Schefter reports. The escape hatch in this deal appears to exist after its third season. A Year 4 stipulation of an NFC championship game appearance, or if Garoppolo is named first- or second-team All-Pro, produces a $7.5MM injury guarantee, however. This deal’s fourth season also contains a no-trade clause, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets.

Now that the 49ers have their top offseason priority out of the way, here is the latest out of the Bay Area:

  • As for the contract defensive end Cassius Marsh signed, his extension is a two-year deal worth $7.7MM, Yates reports (on Twitter). The deal includes $3.1MM fully guaranteed, per Yates. Including incentives and escalators, the pact has a maximum value of $12.7MM. That’s a surprisingly large deal for Marsh, who was released midway through the 2017 season by New England.
  • The 49ers are expected to target cornerback help in free agency, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports. Considering San Francisco is still expected to have more than $60MM in cap space after the Garoppolo deal, the team could afford to pursue top-market solutions here. Trumaine Johnson, Kyle Fuller, Malcolm Butler look to as of now represent the top tier of targets. And with the 49ers still expected to possess more cap space than most teams even after authorizing the richest extension in NFL history, they should be in a commanding position to outflank opposition on the market.
  • Right tackle Trent Brown‘s now extension-eligible, being a fourth-year player, but Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com doesn’t see the 49ers pursuing a re-up this offseason. Maiocco notes the 49ers now have enough questions about Brown’s future they may hold off on extension talks that were once expected to commence. Brown, whom Maiocco reports underwent shoulder surgery this offseason and still faces a lengthy rehab process, hitting the 2019 market would likely induce a bidding war. John Lynch previously said he expects Brown to be a cornerstone player, which would indicate he’ll be on the team beyond his contract year. But it appears the 49ers are in a wait-and-see pattern regarding their right-edge protector at present.

Zach Links contributed to this report.

49ers Sign Jimmy Garoppolo To Extension

The 49ers and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo have agreed to a five-year, $137.5MM contract, a source tells Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Full financial details of the deal have yet to leak out, but this stands as the largest deal in league history on an average annual value basis. Matthew Stafford set the bar with his five-year, $135MM ($27MM/season) deal last August. Garoppolo now has the new watermark with an average of $27.5MM per year."<strong

Garoppolo signed the deal Thursday night, the team confirmed.

The Niners acquired Garoppolo during the season from the Patriots in exchange for a second-round choice. Based on the early results, the deal may go down as one of the greatest all-time heists in NFL history. Once the young QB was inserted into the Niners’ starting lineup, SF rallied from an ugly 1-10 start to finish out the year on a five-game winning streak. The sample size is small, but Jimmy G owns a career 7-0 record as a starting QB.

At the Senior Bowl, 49ers GM John Lynch sounded optimistic about a deal coming together soon:

“When you find the right guy at that position, it’s really good for your franchise. We believe we’ve found the right guy. Now the challenge is getting Jimmy signed. We’re working hard towards that. We’ll see. I think he wants to be with us and we want him there. I think it makes too much sense not to happen. So it’s just a matter of getting it done.”

Technically speaking, Garoppolo was due for unrestricted free agency in March. However, there was zero chance of Garoppolo reaching the open market as the Niners were fully prepared to use the franchise tag on the 26-year-old (27 in November).

The Patriots, in theory, could have kept Garoppolo and groomed him to be the successor to Tom Brady, who turns 41 in August. Depending on who you ask, his status in New England may or may not have caused a triangular rift between Brady, coach Bill Belichick, and owner Robert Kraft. It’s not hard to imagine the Patriots kicking themselves behind closed doors for the trade, particularly after the way Garoppolo performed in the second half of the 2017 season.

Then again, the Patriots did offer up four-year contract extensions for Garoppolo in the $17MM-$18MM per year range plus increases for if/when he succeeded Brady. Garoppolo, who was no doubt advised that he could crack $25MM per season on his next deal, declined the deal, opting to wait for an opportunity to run a team of his own.

Garoppolo’s position as the league’s highest-paid player might not last all that long. If Kirk Cousins reaches unrestricted free agency, he could very well top Garoppolo’s AAV, despite being three years older. Cousins himself might not stay atop the mountain for long with Matt Ryan entering his walk year and Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, and Ben Roethlisberger being two years away from the open market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo Moving Closer To Long-Term Deal

Jimmy Garoppolo may not be on the sidelines for today’s Super Bowl, but he is about to become a very rich man. Per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the 49ers and their new quarterback have made significant progress in their negotiations towards a long-term contract, which would allow the two sides to avoid the oft-contentious franchise tag process.

Jimmy Garoppolo (Vertical)

Even if Garoppolo had not played a single snap for San Francisco following his surprising trade from New England during the 2017 season, he was still going to get paid. But once he was inserted into the 49ers’ starting lineup, all he did was lead the 1-10 Niners on a five-game winning streak to end the season, compiling a 96.2 quarterback rating in the process.

Garoppolo will, in all likelihood, lose a game in his professional career, but it hasn’t happened yet. He is 7-0 as a starter, and per Rapoport, his new contract will put him among the “upper echelon” of the league’s quarterbacks.

At last week’s Senior Bowl, San Francisco GM John Lynch certainly sounded optimistic that the two sides would get a deal wrapped up soon. He said, “When you find the right guy at that position, it’s really good for your franchise. We believe we’ve found the right guy. Now the challenge is getting Jimmy signed. We’re working hard towards that. We’ll see. I think he wants to be with us and we want him there. I think it makes too much sense not to happen. So it’s just a matter of getting it done.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Cousins, Cowboys, Garoppolo, Cards

One of the top dominos to fall in free agency this offseason will be the future of Kirk Cousins. The Redskins have used both the transition tag and franchise tag on the signal-caller in the last two years, respectively, and their intentions this offseason remain unknown.

One option would be to again use a tag on Cousins and then trade him to another team, NBC Sports’ Rich Tandler writes. In theory, Tandler states, Cousins would agree to a deal with another team but would not sign an offer sheet. He would then be receive the transition tag from Washington, who would then trade him to the agreed upon team.

Tandler notes the pros to the deal would be an assurance to Cousins that Washington wouldn’t match an offer, the Redskins would receive compensation for his departure and the other team would get their franchise quarterback without signing him to a heavily front-loaded contract.

Of the teams who would potentially be interested in such a deal, the Browns, Broncos and Jets seem like the most obvious candidates to get something done.

It’s still early in the offseason, but the Cousins situation will be among the most interesting and pivotal of the offseason.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Cowboys wide receiver Ryan Switzer underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove bone spurs from his left ankle, the team reported. Primarily deployed as a kickoff and punt returner in his rookie season, the North Carolina product is expected to assume a heavier workload on offense in his second season.
  • The Cardinals are looking to hire Titans defensive line coach Nick Eason for the same position, AZ Central’s Kent Somers hears (Twitter link). The position was previously held by Brentson Buckner for the last five seasons. Eason played 10 seasons in the NFL and has been with the Titans since 2014.
  • 49ers general manager John Lynch has stated often that he envisions Jimmy Garoppolo as the quarterback in San Francisco for the foreseeable future. Lynch confirmed this week that steps have been taken to ensure that happens, reports the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch writes. The chances of Garoppolo playing somewhere other than the Bay Area in 2018 are slim to none. If a multi-year deal cannot be quickly reached, the team is sure to use the franchise tag on the signal-caller who has yet to lose as a starter in the NFL (7-0).

West Notes: Broncos, Seahawks, 49ers

The Broncos have fallen quite a ways from their Super Bowl 50 win about two years ago. The team’s biggest question mark is obviously at quarterback, but there are a number of questions that John Elway and company will have to answer over the course of the offseason, explains Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post.

Jhabvala mentions that the Broncos wide receiver position could really change over the next few months depending on how the front office approaches some of the playmakers that could enter free agency. The big name she mentions is Demaryius Thomas who could test the open market should Denver decline his $4MM option. He’s controllable for non-guaranteed salaries for the next two seasons, but the team could save some money or re-negotiate a new contract before a decision has to be made about that option. In addition to Thomas, Cody Latimer is an unrestricted free agent, Bennie Fowler is a restricted free agent and Emmanuel Sanders is a controllable veteran that could hit the trade block if the team rather invest in Thomas long-term.

Jhabvala also focuses on veteran cornerback Aqib Talib. She notes how he’ll turn 32 in February and is set to make $11MM in 2018. Although, the Broncos would only be responsible for $1MM if he were to be released. With Chris Harris and Bradley Roby under contract as well, it’s unlikely the team would hold onto all three for next season.

The article finally keys in on Denver’s starting running back, C.J. Anderson. Anderson is paid well for his position as he’ll make $4.4MM next season. However, his last two years of his original four-year deal that he signed in 2016 are non-guaranteed, so there is definitely significant money to be saved should the team move onto the likes of Devontae Booker, De’Angelo Henderson or potentially a another running back that they draft in April.

Here’s more from the NFL’s West divisions:

  • Denver has to deal with an off-the-field problem at receiver as well. Their 2017 third-round draft pick, Carlos Henderson, was arrested this afternoon for possession of marijuana, per Brad Cesak of NBC6News (Twitter link). The 23-year-old was placed on the injured reserve with a thumb injury in the preseason, but could face league discipline for his most recent incident. This would be his first offense, but it’s not encouraging for a Broncos team potentially looking for steady contributors on that side of the ball.
  • The news that Pete Carroll would be replacing Darrell Bevell with Brian Schottenheimer as Seattle’s next offensive coordinator was met with some skepticism across the football world. However, Seahawks backup quarterback Austin Davis thinks that the change will bring some positivity to the team’s offense in 2018, reports Brady Henderson of ESPN.com. Schottenheimer coached Davis for three seasons while the two were in St. Louis. “We were very creative in St. Louis,” Davis told 710 ESPN Seattle. “We threw a lot of things at the defense, whether it was drop-back, whether it was play-action, whether it was quarterback movement, we had it all. And we were a really good screen team. If there was one thing I could pick out from last year, we couldn’t run screens.” The Seahawks offense was carried by Russell Wilson last season and is in need of a new identity as the team looks to get back into the postseason.
  • 49ers promising rookie linebacker Reuben Foster recently got in trouble with the law for having possession of marijuana, which is likely to effect his paycheck in the years to come. The 2017 first-round pick had about $2.5MM in guaranteed money from 2018-2020, but that will probably be voided because of specific wording in his contract, according to Joel Corry of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Corry explained that Foster had a clause in his contract that if he were to be fined for a violation of the NFL’s drug policy, that money would lose its guaranteed status. The former Alabama defender fell down the draft board a bit last year because of some personality issues, and his immaturity has now clearly cost him in terms of his wallet.
  • Current 49ers starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo made some extra cash after the Patriots beat the Titans to advance to the AFC Championship, according to Corry in another tweet. Corry reports that Garoppolo received an extra $51k in playoff money for the victory because he was with New England for at least eight games this past regular season.

NFC Notes: Vikings, Cards, Packers, 49ers

For the first time all season, the Vikings will have all three of their quarterbacks healthy when they host New Orleans on Sunday. Even with the return of Sam Bradford and the health of Teddy Bridgewater, Case Keenum “is the guy” reports Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.

This should come as no surprise, as Keenum has been among the league’s top signal-callers since taking over for Bradford early in the season. The question, however, will be if the team wants to have all three suit up on Sunday. Florio’s sources say that won’t be determined until right before kickoff. Florio thinks untimely concussion evaluations could play into the decision.

Regardless of the decision, Keenum will have as long a leash as possible as the starter. The sixth-year quarterback enjoyed a breakout campaign, throwing for 3,547 yards and 22 touchdowns while posting a stellar 98.3 passer rating. It is unknown at this time if Bradford will leapfrog Bridgewater for the backup role.

Here is more from around the NFC:

  • Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur is the perfect candidate for the Cardinals head-coaching vacancy, AZ Central’s Dan Bickley writes. Bickley notes Shurmur’s ability to get the most out of his quarterback as the underlying factor. He also thinks the hiring of Shurmur would ensure the return of Larry Fitzgerald. The hiring, however, would go in opposition to former head coach Bruce Arians’ wishes that defensive coordinator James Bettcher get the job.
  • Packers head coach Mike McCarthy reportedly met with team president and CEO Mark Murphy and expressed concerns Russ Ball wouldn’t be aggressive in free agency, USA Today’s Pete Dougherty reports. The meeting in theory caused Murphy to not promote Ball to general manager after Ted Thompson left the spot. Dougherty has doubts that the meeting had any impact on the situation. He also laid out another theory that Murphy preferred Brian Gutekunst all along for the job.
  • There is confidence on both sides that the 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo will strike a deal, NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco writes. If the sides don’t reach an agreement, it’s almost a guarantee that the quarterback will be franchised. After leading the Niners to wins in each of his first five starts, Jimmy G is a safe bet to be the QB in San Francisco for a long time.