In an unexpected turn of events, Jimmy Garoppolo will continue to play for the 49ers as an accomplished backup to Trey Lance.
The 49ers and Garoppolo are reportedly finalizing a new contract, which will make him the highest-paid backup quarterback in the NFL, according to NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo. According to Rapoport and Garafolo, Garoppolo’s new contract is for $6.5 million with a close to $16 million in potential incentives. Additionally, the revised agreement will reduce Garoppolo’s 2022 salary cap amount from $26.95 million to roughly $8.5 million.
According to NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero, Garoppolo’s contract also contains a no-trade and a no-franchise tag provision. The quarterback, who will be a free agent after this season, can choose where he goes as a result.
The veteran quarterback underwent shoulder surgery and spent the entire training camp on the 49ers roster recovering before the latest development on Monday.
When San Francisco moved up to No. 3 overall in the 2021 selection to choose Lance, he was positioned behind Garoppolo for the majority of the rookie’s first season before being officially given the team’s reins.
After the 49ers’ painful loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game, Garoppolo said goodbye to San Francisco and was aware of the 49ers’ succession plan, but his shoulder surgery made things more difficult. Garoppolo could only watch from a distance while recuperating as the quarterback carousel whirled in many NFL cities, and San Francisco finally failed to find the right deal to trade him somewhere.
As an insurance policy for Lance, the second-year quarterback who enters 2022 with much to prove, the 49ers are content to keep the dependable veteran who previously guided San Francisco to a Super Bowl.
In the middle of the 2017 season, Garoppolo was traded to the San Francisco 49ers from the New England Patriots, who were in urgent need of a franchise quarterback. He assumed the position and performed admirably enough to earn a $137.5 million, five-year contract, solidifying his position as the club’s future starting quarterback.
When healthy, Jimmy G flourished, compiling a win-loss record of 31-14 while serving as the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, including a 13-3 campaign in 2019 that saw the 49ers go to the Super Bowl LIV. But that contest, in which the 49ers lost 31-20 to the Kansas City Chiefs because they were unable to maintain their lead in the fourth quarter, highlighted his limitations as San Francisco’s starting quarterback. Garoppolo’s time with the squad was highlighted by one crucial play—an overthrew pass to an open Emmanuel Sanders on third and 10—but the 49ers chose not to replace him.
Garoppolo was finally demoted in San Francisco due to his failure to maintain good health. Due to injury, Garoppolo played in just six of San Francisco’s 16 games in 2020 after starting all 16. This hurt the team’s chances of repeating as NFC champions and made the 49ers’ management look for a backup quarterback in case of an emergency. That choice was made with the pick of Lance, a player who the 49ers believe has the ability to turn the corner and, more importantly, maintain their competitiveness by being available more frequently than Garoppolo.
While this is going on, the 30-year-old may continue working on his shoulder and get ready for a season of filling in as the next man up, but only when necessary. If he can avoid the ailment bug that has too often derailed his career, Garoppolo still has a ton of football left to play. He won’t spend 2022 looking for a new opportunity elsewhere; instead, he’ll stick with the squad he knows best, albeit as a backup.
After the 2022 season, Garoppolo can pursue such a new chance, and if the past two offseasons have taught us anything, there will be jobs available. The largest unanswered question will be whether Garoppolo can maintain his health long enough to merit the interest of a new team, and nobody will know for sure until he plays an entire season without incident. But that won’t happen until until 2022, or until a team is in such a terrible situation that it calls the 49ers to ask about Garoppolo.