Jimmy Garoppolo

NFC Notes: Thomas, Garoppolo, Griffen

The obscene parting shot that Seahawks safety Earl Thomas made in the direction of his team’s bench as he was being carted off the field last week was not directed at any one person or player, but at the Seattle organization as a whole, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. And, even though all signs were already pointing towards a parting of the ways between Thomas, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, and the only NFL team he has ever known, Schefter reports that the Seahawks are not expected to use the franchise tag on Thomas, which all but ensures that he will not return to Seattle in 2019.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Thomas will have surgery to have a rod inserted in his leg this week, which will increase his chances of healing while lowering his chances of a re-fracture, so he is expected to be fully healthy well before free agency officially opens in March.

Now for more from the NFC, starting with another item out of Seattle:

  • Seahawks LB Mychal Kendricks was hit with an indefinite suspension earlier this week, and Schefter reports that Kendricks, his lawyers, and the NFLPA are still battling to prove that the NFL does not have the right to impose such a ban in his case. Instead, Kendricks is arguing that the league should suspend him for a specific number of games, thereby allowing him to return to action this season and play until he receives his sentence for insider trading in January.
  • In keeping with a report from several days ago that 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo underwent successful surgery on his torn ACL, Rapoport tweets that Garoppolo faces a relatively obstacle-free rehab. His ACL was the only thing that needed to be repaired, so he is expected to make a full recovery.
  • We heard at the end of last month that there was no definite timeline for Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen to return to the team, and Schefter reported today that Griffen is not expected to return anytime soon. Griffen, of course, is tending to apparently serious mental health issues.
  • Lions guard T.J. Lang suffered at least the fifth concussion of his career last week, and assuming he wants to continue his career, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com believes 2018 will be his last season in Detroit. Lang is under contract through 2019, but he missed games last year because of brain, back and foot issues, and he is dealing with brain and back issues again this year. He would carry a cap hit of $11.7MM in 2019, and Meinke does not envision Detroit ponying up that kind of cash given Lang’s recent spate of injury problems.
  • The Buccaneers recently worked out former first-round draft choice Paxton Lynch, but Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Bucs have no interest in signing Lynch at this time.

Extra Points: Garoppolo, 49ers, Bryant, Irving, Cowboys, Johnson, Eagles

There were high hopes for the 49ers in 2018, hopes that were mostly dashed when Jimmy Garoppolo was lost for the season with a torn ACL. The team has insisted they have confidence in backup C.J. Beathard, but the new-look 49ers will almost certainly have to wait until next year to make a serious run at a playoff spot. The good news is that Garoppolo recently underwent surgery, and everything seems to have gone very well.

San Francisco’s GM John Lynch said he spoke to the doctor who performed Garoppolo’s surgery, and that he got a “great report” from the surgeon according to Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle. Lynch added that doctors are “very optimistic about the prognosis for his future.” Separately, Branch notes that coach Kyle Shanahan said the team is hoping Garoppolo will be able to participate in OTAs in some capacity. It sounds like Garoppolo is expected to make a quick recovery and be 100% well before the start of the 2019 season, which is music to the ears of 49ers fans.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Earlier today, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made clear the team wouldn’t be bringing back Dez Bryant despite the receiver’s eagerness to return to Dallas. Now his son Stephen Jones, the team’s player personnel boss, has elaborated on why. The younger Jones said it has a lot to do with quarterback Dak Prescott, saying “the last thing unfortunately that Dak needs right now is to continue to change a lot of things up again.” The Cowboys’ receiving corp has been much maligned, but it sounds like it will be staying as is.
  • Cowboys defensive tackle David Irving is coming back from suspension this week. It’s a huge boost to Dallas’ defense, but to make room for him on the roster they’ll have to make a tough decision. It’s getting close to game day and they still haven’t made the call, so David Moore of Dallas News broke down all their potential options. Jones has said Irving will play, so something will need to be done in the next 36 hours or so.
  • “A federal judge has denied Eagles OT Lane Johnson’s motion to vacate an NFL arbitration award for his 10-game suspension in 2016″ according to Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal (Twitter link). Johnson filed the suit last year, alleging his suspension for PEDs was unwarranted, and that there was bias by the judge in the appeals process.

49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo Done For Season

The 49ers’ worst fear has been confirmed. On Monday, an MRI revealed that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has suffered a season-ending ACL tear, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The Niners will place Garoppolo on injured reserve, opening up a spot on the roster that will surely be filled by another quarterback. 

The 49ers, for now, will turn the starting job over to backup C.J. Beathard. After the second-year QB went 1-4 in five starts last year, it’s far from an ideal situation for San Francisco. If the 49ers seek outside help, they may want to give the Browns a call to see what it would take to acquire Tyrod Taylor, who has lost his starting job to rookie Baker Mayfield.

The free agent market, which may or may not include retired signal caller Jay Cutler, doesn’t have much to offer the 49ers. Colin Kaepernick may represent the most talented available QB at this time, but he’s unlikely to return to SF for obvious reasons. On Sunday, we heard that the Niners are unlikely to bring in competition for Beathard, but that thinking could easily change.

The 49ers picked up Garoppolo from the Patriots in exchange for a second-round pick last November, and subsequently inked him to a five-year, $137.5MM extension. Tom Brady‘s former protege won all five of his starts in the Bay Area last year, but was off to a so-so start in 2018. In three starts, Garoppolo went 1-2 with three interceptions against five touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Unlikely To Bring In Competition For Beathard

The 49ers are dealing with the devastating loss of Jimmy Garoppolo to a torn ACL that will cut his 2018 short. 2017 third round pick C.J. Beathard stepped in to replace Garoppolo against the Chiefs and will now move up to number one on San Francisco’s depth chart.

Despite Beathard’s lack of success as a starter last year, it doesn’t look like the team will be bringing in any outside competition to push Beathard for the starting job. While he notes the 49ers will “obviously” need to bring in an additional signal caller to back Beathard up, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle passes along that 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said he “didn’t anticipate 49ers bringing in a QB to compete with C.J. Beathard as starter” (Twitter link).

Beathard, a former Iowa Hawkeye, started five games for the 49ers last year and appeared in seven. He completed 54.9% of his passes for 1,430 yards, four touchdowns, and six interceptions. The 49ers won just one of the games he appeared in, and he mostly struggled during his time as the team’s starter. After the 49ers acquired Garoppolo in a trade with the Patriots, Beathard quickly relinquished his starting duties.

There was a ton of optimism surrounding the 49ers heading into 2018, as they were expected to make a major leap in Shanahan’s second season. They lost a close game to the Vikings in Week 1 and beat the Lions last week to improve to 1-1. They now sit at 1-2 and face a tough upcoming schedule, with three out of their next four games against the Chargers, Packers, and Rams. With no big-name signing or trade forthcoming, it looks like it’ll be Beathard the rest of the way.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Fear Jimmy Garoppolo Has Torn ACL

The 49ers fear starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a serious knee injury in Week 3’s contest against the Chiefs, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Head coach Kyle Shanahan admitted following the game that an ACL tear is the fear for Garoppolo, and an MRI could confirm the news by Monday.

Garoppolo took a hit while running along the sideline in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game and looked to have injured his left knee. Trainers escorted him off the field via cart, and he was quickly ruled out for the remainder of Week action.

Losing Garoppolo would be a devastating blow for a 49ers team that had playoff aspirations entering the 2018 campaign. San Francisco has already lost one if its projected offensive focal points — free agent addition Jerick McKinnon — for the year after he suffered a torn ACL during training camp. Another knee injury, this time to Garoppolo, could further derail San Francisco’s postseason hopes.

With Garoppolo sidelined, the 49ers turned to backup C.J. Beathard for the remainder of their loss to the Chiefs. Beathard, a third-round pick in the 2017 draft, started five games for San Francisco before it acquired Garoppolo near last year’s trade deadline. The Iowa product completed 55% of his passes for 1,430 yards, four touchdowns, and six interceptions, and posted the second-lowest passer rating among NFL quarterbacks with at least 200 attempts.

The 49ers picked up Garoppolo from the Patriots in exchange for a second-round pick last November, and subsequently inked him to a five-year, $137.5MM extension after he won all five of his starts in the Bay Area. Through two starts this season, Garoppolo had managed 467 yards, three touchdowns, and three interceptions.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.