Jimmy Garoppolo has just seven starts in the NFL to his name, but the San Francisco 49ers have made the quarterback the league's highest-paid player per year. While we don't yet know how Garoppolo's contract breaks down, the Niners have well over $100 million in salary-cap space.
As it now stands, the 49ers don't have a second round pick or a fourth round pick, but they do have three picks within the top 75.
Locking up Garoppolo is the first big step this offseason in San Francisco's rebuilding plan that got off to a strong start last season in the first year under coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.
During an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday, 49ers offensive tackle Joe Staley voiced his confidence in Garoppolo leading the franchise to much success, according to Pro Football Talk.
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If money is a priority for Cousins, he should have no problem topping the deal that was just handed to a quarterback with seven starts on his resume. It would be in most cases, but there are also rare exceptions such as a transcendent talent. Signing Cousins would, at least in theory, solve the quarterback problem for the next four to five years and free Dorsey from having to select a quarterback with the No. 1 or No. 4 overall selection in the upcoming draft. Garoppolo - in the 49ers' estimation - fits the bill.
Garoppolo then started the final five games of the 49ers' season, helping to lead the team to a 5-0 record after the team had gone 1-10 to start the year. Jimmy G, because his "bargain" years were used up on the bench behind Tom Brady, will never provide such a lift in roster-building. If Seth Wickersham's story on the Patriots a few weeks ago is to be believed, the very idea of Garoppolo being traded shook up the well-oiled machine that had become the Patriot Way. Of course, they did work out the deal. Derek Carr received just $70 million in guarantees from the Oakland Raiders, so obviously Garoppolo landed on the more "modest" end of things when you look at quarterbacks that have recently received big extensions.
Garoppolo has every chance of being the latter.