In talks with 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo holds all the cards


SANTA CLARA – I hear the narrative when I’m in my car.

A sports talk radio host will ask his audience, “Should the 49ers sign Jimmy Garoppolo to a long-term contract now? Has he shown enough for the organization to make the commitment?”


Click here to read my column.

This article has 74 Comments

  1. We have all the money needed to meet his demands. We finally have a quality QB and he should be paid as such or perhaps given an escalated percentage of the salary cap each year. : )

    1. He has played well and i do hope he ends up being the player he has show to be recently, he played the the Texans without their first and eventually second string qb and best defensive player. He beat the bears who offense was so bad their defense had no chance to play well. I want to see him throw touchdowns before we commit to a long term contract.

    1. Good enough? This man just beat 2 stout, defenses. He beat a bend but don’t break defense in Chicago. Then came to Houston and beat an aggressive all out blitz your azz defense. Might I add, he did it with 2nd, 3rd and 4th string talent all around. This man has shown he can win with scrubs. Give this man a legit team and off-season, I bet he will succeed with that as well.

  2. Prime,

    Would you be too upset if the 49ers drafted Minkah Fitzpatrick # 1 ? Todd McShay who is one of the most accurate mock draft forecasters just mocked him to the Niners at # 4 and I know you had mentioned he would fit in nicely with their front 7 as a shutdown corner.

    McShay’s analysis:

    Saquon Barkley could make sense here…Fitzpatrick is a true shutdown cornerback who has the versatility to play safety as well.

    1. I like barkley but i would rather keep hyde especially while he is playing this well. Shanahan can only make him better this offseason, he has been healthy this season for us and deserves to stay. I wouldnt be upset w minkah but i would like to see a trade down for courtland sutton (if we cant sign watkins devante adams or a solid #1 in FA) or an o line to protect jimmy.

  3. Garrapolo is a free-agent. Of course the player holds the rights and leverage to everything.
    When you are free agent, you’ve earned that right .

      1. The franchise tag escalates in price if you use it year after year. So, year 1 it’s the average of the top 5 salaries at his respective position. The following year it goes up by 20%. The third year it goes up even more drastically (40+%), which is why Kirk won’t get franchised again.

  4. Grant,

    That part about ceding partial ownership of the team brings back bad memories of demands Steve Marriucci, Jim Harbaugh and other high profile players made to Jed York only to have them shipped out of town in a ‘whose the top gun’ with Jed showdown.

    Then, as a slap in the face to 49er fans, rather than put a coach in the flag challenging skybox, the York’s put a suit named Paraage Marathe in charge—never coached in his life.

    And, as if that wasn’t enough, hired a DJ to coach our QB’s, Jefff Hostler as a 1st time OC, Tomsula , Singletary, etc, etc, and was enough to incite you to say these were stupid hires….Don’t give them any ideas.

  5. Yea, I don’t get the sense Jimmy’s ego will be a problem, so the diva demands aren’t something I’d anticipate. He sure seemed genuinely excited to work with Shanny, whom he’d previously visited with over dinner during the draft process. I also wouldn’t begrudge Jimmy waiting to see how the offensive line and skill positions are addressed, because it’s called doing your due diligence. He’s really in a great situation to carve out a nice career here in San Francisco, with all the cap room and draft picks, plus I think this trade had his blessing before it was consummated. He’s seen how Tom restructured his contract to acquire players, and understands what’s involved. His agent, Yee, is known to not put his agenda ahead of his client’s….

  6. Good article Grant….

    My take (for what its worth), is the Niners will use the Franchise tag. This will be a big off-season. The FO will continue to overhaul this Roster and attempt to add some key pieces to this team. For me it starts with the O-line, Edge rushers, CB, then WRs. They have cap space, draft picks, and a bright future to sell to potential FAs. They will build the team around him while he plays on the tag. If he proves to be a top 10 QB for us, then he will be paid as such. If not, than we let him walk. IMO if he’s playing like a top 10 QB next year then we are most likely winning games and playing for a play-off spot, so why would he not want to sign long-term. Really it doesn’t seem that difficult.

    I don’t see him signing anything long-term until after next season….it just makes sense on both sides again IMHO

    1. Really, you think he would forgo, say, $70-80M guaranteed money on a long term contract and risk major injury playing at $25M next season?

      1. Of course not….but I also don’t see the FO offering that much guaranteed. Didn’t say Jimmy wouldn’t sign anything long-term, just that I don’t see both sides coming to an agreement.

      2. I’m sticking with my earlier contract projection. Five years at an average of $22 to $23 million per year with $50 to $60 million guaranteed.

        Jimmy is not an elite QB, yet. Wouldn’t it be easier for him to reach that personal goal working with KS rather than a guy like Hue Jackson or many of the other OCs in the NFL?

        1. Wouldn’t it be easier for him to reach that personal goal working with KS rather than a guy like Hue Jackson or many of the other OCs in the NFL?

          Yep. He’s got what he really wanted. A starting job. He wasn’t interested in being paid franchise money to sit on the bench. He’s got an offensive coach with 5 more years on his contract, lots of cap, lots of high draft picks. I can’t think of a better situation for him to achieve championships then right here in San Francisco….

        2. Cubus,
          The term “elite QB” has really no objective meaning to me. “Franchise QB” OTOH, means something. JG will want to be paid as a franchise QB and Niners will pay him as one. Based on where the cap is headed and the market rate, I expect him to be offered at least $60M guaranteed. That may fold the franchise tag into it if the long term contract comes post-tag deadline. I’m choosing the numbers between Derek Carr’s contract ($40M full guarantee at signing and injury guarantee of $70M at signing. $69M due in 1st 3yrs, $125M max in 5 years) and Matthew Stafford ($92 million guaranteed, including a $50 million signing bonus, max of $135M in 5 years). The other parameter is 13% to 15% of 2018 salary cap (about $175M). Using 13%, I come to 6 years-138M with $65M guaranteed $25M at signing (remaining $40M guaranteed over the following 3 seasons), and total of $75M guaranteed for injury.

          1. Yes, but I was talking about his “personal” goal, which I assume is to be an elite QB (as well as a franchise QB). When it comes to QB comparisons in terms of skill and production, it seems to me that “elite” is more appropriate. But with regards to business, franchise QB would govern how he is paid.

            In your analysis why did you choose six years for the contract? If I understand correctly, both Stafford and Carr have five year contracts.

  7. A good front office can find players in any round. The Niners found multi-All Pro, Pro Bowl and Super Bowl guard Jesse Sapolu in the 11th Rd., and many others in the later rounds.

    An organization doesn’t stay on top 20 years by not accomplishing that feat many times. A modern example is the Patriots.

    I agree with Jace (above) and would like to test their front office in a trade down to pick up as many draftees as possible for their 1st rounder.

    However, if as Prime, and now Cassie Baalke have eluded, if Saquon Barkley’s really a generational talent, the front office should be able to make it work.

  8. Yep, JG definitely has bargaining power. It will be up to the team to match what he asks.

    This is why I said yesterday I believe the final three games will go some way to determining whether he gets a long term contract this offseason or not. JG will likely be asking for some serious guaranteed money. Why wouldn’t he? Anything less than $55M guaranteed would be a big surprise for me. But would the 49ers truly feel comfortable giving him that much this offseason if he doesn’t play well the remaining three games? Doubtful. I don’t care how much they like how he looks in practice, if he isn’t showing it on the field it is hard to pay someone like a top tier player. The risk is too great.

    However, if over five games he looks good, including against some tougher defenses, I think the 49ers chances of agreeing to commit a lot of guaranteed money will go up.

    1. i don’t see 5 games as much of a sample size…unless he went off for some 400 yd games against top tier defenses. I don’t see it happening. I think next season will be his true “try out”

      1. Its not. But the 49ers have already committed to JG somewhat by trading a 2nd round pick for him.

        I think the 49ers would like to get him signed long term this offseason. Whether it happens or not will come down to what the 49ers are willing to pay him in guaranteed money. They already know they like how he looks as a passer. I think all they need is a little push like seeing him perform against good defenses the next few weeks to make them ready to pony up the $$.

        Prior to him starting I was 100% sure he would play under the tag next year. As it currently stands I still think that is the most likely scenario. But if he keeps playing well the rest of the year I think there is about an even money chance he gets signed to a long term contract.

  9. I don’t agree at all with your article Grant. Jimmy is in a good negotiating position but hardly has all the cards. 49ers can franchise him, which may sound great but if he gets injured or doesn’t play that well, his value is a lot lower the following year. If he’s a pain in the negotiating process, the 49ers could franchise him and trade him somewhere he doesn’t want to be, like Cleveland.

    Jimmy also wants to win and had a great role model in Brady who really did hold all the cards and realized he didn’t want to cripple his team with a monster contract.

    If I’m Jimmy I sign a long term deal with the 49ers at a rate that is fair to me and fair to the team.

  10. Grant:

    When was the last time you negotiated a deal? Been there and done that. JG’s value is only what someone will pay him. Your assumptions are really worthless.
    This draft is rich with QBs that could be franchise changers and that is one bargaining tool. The other is his trade value. If they can’t strike a deal they are happy with they can send him to Cleveland or any of a dozen clubs that would pay dearly for him. So JG if you would like Cleveland just let us know and we will accommodate you. How about the Jets or the Ravens or any of the other really desirable places to play. Lynch and Shanahan have all the tools that they need to negotiate a fair deal. Some clubs would give up their next 3 number 1 picks to get a QB that they feel they can win with. This is a high dollar business and as long as the TV money keeps flowing there is little that stands in the way of a club that knows how to negotiate. This duo started out feeling that JG would not be available and they can proceed on that same basis if they deal him away. Just put the ball in JG’s court and see what happens.

    1. Garoppolo doesn’t have to sign a long-term deal with the Browns or Jets or Ravens, just like he doesn’t have to sign one with the 49ers. Lynch and Shanahan have no tools.

      1. Are the three franchise years max for the player or per team? For instance, could SF franchise him for a year, then ship him off to Cleveland, who franchise him for a year, ship him off to the Jets, who franchise him for a year, etc. His whole career could consist of franchise tags. Lol.

  11. How many teams have the cap money to sign him? What about JG himself, he probably wants to get started on his career. He is 26 years of age if the Niners franchise him for two years he will be 28 and going to a new team with a new offense, not sure if he wants to wait another two years before he gets established with a team. I think he wants to get started like now! Also he can ask for the moon but smart QB’s want good players surrounding them, he understands if he takes all the money there will be none to improve the team (any team) which does him no good. He wants a SB so….. One must take in consideration that BB guided him here and placed him in the hands of Shanny. BB could of gotten more from any other team, he chose the Niners for a mere 2nd rounder. The Niners love him the fans seem to love him. I think he signs.

      1. The 49ers thought he could have played last week and now he’s missed another practice.
        I don’t think they like soft players.
        In Shannys press conference he said Brown held himself out. It’s sounded like a shot at his toughness.
        My guess is he’s gone.

  12. So let me get this….

    He finally got a chance to start after watching Brady for 3 yrs
    Work with a genius OC that just helped him win 2 games with a limited playbook
    Be a 49er and build a legacy next to Montana and Young
    House, family in nice weather San Fran
    Be part of a fresh young building team
    His family already wearing 49er uniforms

    and you think for once Jimmy is not thinking THANK GOD I found a home……..and they love me

    You guys are nuts…….too much time on those keyboards….

    Even if he gets paid top QB salary in the NFL; who cares – salary cap number keeps going up…..

    ….JimmyG is going NOWHERE……..enjoy the show and stop over thinking….

    1. One, someone always has to have a negative take. It’s getting lame.

      Jimmy G is gonna sign long term here. This take is just a time filler on a slow news day.

  13. It takes two to tango and I think both sides are liking the other so far. I think John will be very aggressive in FA and put together a great draft with Peters driving decisions. Jimmy will sign, no need to fear monger but I guess it wins ad dollars for this site! Keep up the good work Grant! You have a fan in the Far East.

  14. This all assumes he gets through the next three games without getting maimed. Jacksonville is downright scary. That team spent a decade plus being laughed at. Then they got my distant relative Tom Coughlin into he house plus some already decent drafting. That team is more like an outlaw motorcycle club than a football team. Bad, bad dudes…

  15. “They need him more than he needs them.”
    This is only true now;NOW, in terms of moving forward, but 6 year deals mean JL/KS are not held hostage by him.
    Now, does he wait to see his options? Yes. Does he look to FA, and maybe draft to gauge the commitment? Sure. I would. Hold all the options? Hmmmm, mebbe not. There’s always Cleveland.

  16. I expected the negative spin on the situation from Grant but I don’t buy it it. There are too many pluses for him in SF including playing for a coach and GM who have 5 more years on their contracts. Grant seems to think it’s all about the money. I believe if he thinks the offer is fair and competitive he’ll sign,. The alternative is they would likely tag and trade him. I doubt that is something JG would want and he would have no control over where he went. I disagree that JG holds all the cards. Regardless it’s a great fit for both and it will get done.

  17. Regardless of who the QB is, the miners need to do all those things Grant mentioned. These aren’t new demand from Jimmy. KS would be a fool to not address o line problems, WRs, corner, etc

    Don’t see the problem here

  18. The article is a typical Grant failure in fundamental thinking. Let’s make a poker-analogy — Jimmy has a strong, King-High two-pair hand. Problem is for Jimmy that the 49ers have three-aces — the number of times the 49ers can franchise tag him.

    I really respect the Liberal Arts. English Literature being one of my favorite classes. But Grant’s clearly not a STEM-track kind of guy and articles like this really high-light the difference between those of us who went with the hard-thinking ‘objective and analytics’ path vs those of us who went with the woolly-headed ‘feelings and subjective’ path.

    Let’s be blunt. For the next three years, he’s the 49ers b**** if they chose to make him so. And no amount of hand-wringing can change that fact.

  19. I don’t understand everyone stating that Jimmy has not indicated he wants/wanted to be here. What do they need to indicate he wants to be here “I want to be ins SF no matter what and will sign for league minimum if I have too?”

    These quotes clearly indicate he doesn’t want to be in SF…
    “[I’m] thrilled to be here,” the former New England Patriots backup said of his move to the San Francisco 49ers, per Nick Wagoner of “I mean, just got here this morning. I couldn’t be happier.”

    “Just the rich history,” the quarterback said on KNBR earlier this week. “I was excited to get here. I mean, get on a plane and everything — I couldn’t wait for it. Hopefully, good things will come.”

    Or there is the Peter King report.
    “Jimmy Garoppolo was, to put it mildly, euphoric at getting traded to San Francisco,” King told Eisen. “I don’t think he might have said all the right things if he got traded to Cleveland but he would not have been euphoric. He was euphoric going because he knows that Kyle Shanahan had the seventh-best offense in NFL history last year in Atlanta, that they have a six-year contract, he and John Lynch, that there’s a history there, and they’ve got some really good building blocks on defense. And he thinks if you got to go to a bad team, that’s the best bad team you could go to.”

    This hand wringing over him not saying “I really, really, really want to be 49er” makes no sense. Both sides can take a wait and see approach and why shouldn’t they? As long as SF doesn’t insult him or low ball him with a disrespectful amount they should be able to get a deal done.

  20. Is it possible that Garoppolo had gone to the Patriots and given them some places he’d like to go and this is one of them which is why it kinda happened out of nowhere?

    1. I don’t think Jimmy has made any decisions regarding his football career without great advice from people within the profession who have proven to be sagacious. Add to that his rapturous reaction to the trade, and I feel it’s a safe illation that San Francisco was at the top of his list….

    1. There was another reporter who speculated they might need to make a deal with opt out clauses. Which in theory would benefit Jimmy if he was over-performing or SF if he was underperforming.

      1. For a team that will have over $116 million in cap space to play with I’m finding all the speculation about out clauses and stuff like that interesting.

        They’ve finally filled the most important position in the NFL with a competent player. Stop fiddling around and do it right.

        And don’t take that to mean I think it needs to be done now. I’d expect something around the draft or free agency. It’s likely they’ll use the Franchise Tag while still trying to work on negotiating from there for a multi year deal.

        1. The out clause would most likely benefit Jimmy more. If I were him and signed a 5 year deal with say 60-65 mil guaranteed. I’d want an opt out clause after 3 years. This way I’d still be young enough to capitalize with a big contract but also protected myself in case of injury until that point.

    2. That would be fine. The guaranteed money could be paid out in the first 3 years easily with the amount of cap room the 49ers have.

  21. More fiction from GC. When you have nothing of substance to report make up your own story.

    He’s a Niner for the foreseeable future, and the reason players sign long term deals is for the security it brings. If the Niners offer enough, JG will sign long term. The question is what is enough?

  22. From a negotiaton standpoint, the Niners would be foolish to publicly state that they’re willing to bend over backwards to keep Jimmy.

    From a negotiaton standpoint, Jimmy would be foolish to say that he would bend over backwards to remain a Niner.

    Nothing to see here.

      1. Pay him as in tagging him, (23 mil). They haven’t said they would make him the highest paid QB in the league, which would be publicly stating “that they’re willing to bend over backwards to keep Jimmy.”

    1. This might be more of a question than comment but don’t sports agent/the organization look at comparable situations and numbers when deciding what Jimmy G should get contract wise?

      I mean how does either side decide what is fair? There has to be a similar situation where they look back and say this guy, with this amount of experience , plays this position, what is the market value?
      I cant see either side holding a gun to each others head when both need each other as much as the other.

  23. I don’t care if Garoppolo holds all the cards. Give him what he wants already. For the first time in years we have a QB.

    The way he played last week reminded me of a similar game Montana played in Philly in the 1989 season. Under relentless pressure from Jerome Brown and Reggie White, Montana was sacked 8 times, seemingly was hit on every play, and the Niners were down 21-10 early in the 4th quarter. Then Joe threw a 70 yard TD pass to John Taylor, 8 yard TD pass to Rathman, 25 Yard TD pass to Brent Jones, and a nail in the coffin 33 yarder to Rice. All in the 4th quarter, all under relentless pressure, for a 38-28 49er win.

    Garoppolo has a long way to go before we can compare him to Joe Cool, but all the signs are there. Whatever you do, don’t let him get away.

  24. Franchise QB’s always have the leverage Grant. It’s basic supply and demand. That’s why they get paid the big mo! And Jimmy is a budding NFL star, and seems to be a QB worthy of building a franchise around.


    I mean, when a QB can consistently march the football downfield, despite a less than stellar offensive supporting cast, it makes the entire team better. That’s the difference between a decent QB, and a championship quality QB!

    Just look at these defensive numbers over the last 4 games. The 49ers released a batch of stats on Thursday, and I was particularly intrigued by a string of defensive per-game performance stats dating back to Week 10. Over the past four games, the 49ers defense ranks fourth in the NFL in total yards allowed per game (287.5), fourth in rushing yards allowed (89.0), tied for sixth in points allowed (18.8), and seventh in passing yards allowed (198.5).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *