Jimmy Garoppolo Was Once The NFL's Highest-Paid Player – He Just Took A Huge Paycut

By on March 21, 2023 in ArticlesSports News

A few years ago, Jimmy Garoppolo was one of the hottest commodities in the NFL. The former backup to Tom Brady with the New England Patriots, Garoppolo got his own chance to start when the San Francisco 49ers traded for him in October 2017. He immediately made an impact, leading the Niners to five straight victories to close the season.

That strong play earned Garoppolo a five-year, $137.5 million deal. At the time, it made him the highest-paid player in the NFL. And Garoppolo had several impressive moments with the 49ers, including a 2019 season that resulted in career highs in passing yards and touchdowns, plus a trip to the Super Bowl.

The 49ers ultimately lost that game, yet things were looking promising in the Bay. Unfortunately, Garoppolo missed 18 games over the next three seasons, with a myriad of injuries keeping him sidelined.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

After the 49ers reached the NFC Championship Game with rookie Brock Purdy at quarterback, Garoppolo became more expendable. And the Las Vegas Raiders pounced, offering Garoppolo a three-year deal worth $67.5 million, with $34 million guaranteed.

In total, it's a little less than half of what he earned with the 49ers. But the deal isn't nearly as bad as it seems. Garoppolo should be the starter in Las Vegas. Derek Carr just signed with New Orleans, and backup Jarrett Stidham is expected to sign with the Denver Broncos. Garoppolo was behind Trey Lance to start the 2022 season in San Francisco, and he likely wouldn't have ended up first on the depth chart in 2023.

In terms of average annual salary, Garoppolo will still make $22.5 million. It's a decrease from what he was making in San Francisco, but it's still a sizable payday.

The relatively short length of this deal also offers Garoppolo a bit of future flexibility. If he can stay healthy throughout most of his time in Las Vegas, he'll be eligible for another contract when he's 34 years old. He could score one more big deal before he hands up his cleats.

For now, though, he's just excited to get a fresh start. In the NFL, sometimes that's half the battle.

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