Jimmy Garoppolo will stay with the 49ers as Trey Lance’s backup.
According to NFL Network analysts Ian Rang and Mike Garafolo, the 49ers and Garoppolo are nearing the end of a new contract.Rapoport and Garoppolo said Garoppolo’s new agreement is $6.5 million guaranteed with incentives that can increase it to $16 million. Garoppolo’s 2022 salary-cap amount will drop from $26.95 million to $8.5 million.
Tom Pelissero of NFL Network said Garoppolo’s contract contains a no-trade and no-franchise tag clause. The starting QB will be a free agent following this season.
The news came out on Monday after a long wait, during which the veteran quarterback had surgery on his shoulder and spent training camp getting better.
San Francisco traded up to No. 3 in the 2021 draught to choose Lance, sitting him behind Garoppolo for most of the rookie’s first season before handing over the franchise.
Garoppolo knew the 49ers’ succession plan and bid farewell after the NFC Championship Game loss to the Rams, but his shoulder surgery complicated matters. Garoppolo watched the quarterback carousel from afar while rehabilitating, and San Francisco couldn’t trade him.
Most expected San Francisco to trade or release the veteran quarterback, but the 49ers are keeping him as an insurance policy for Lance, their second-year quarterback who has much to show.
In the middle of the 2017 season, San Francisco traded for Garoppolo from the Patriots. He played well enough to earn a $137.5 million, five-year contract as the team’s future quarterback.
Jimmy G was 31-14 as San Francisco’s starting quarterback while healthy, including 13-3 in 2019 that led to Super Bowl LIV. The 49ers lost 31-20 to the Kansas City Chiefs in that game, revealing his ceiling as a quarterback. The 49ers didn’t replace Garoppolo after he overthrew Emmanuel Sanders on third-and-10.
San Francisco demoted Garoppolo because he couldn’t remain healthy. After playing in all 16 games in 2019, Garoppolo appeared in just six in 2020 due to injury, hurting San Francisco’s chances of repeating as NFC champs and requiring the team to locate a backup. San Francisco feels Lance can get them over the hump and keep them competitive by being more available than Garoppolo.
The 30-year-old may continue shoulder treatment and prepare for a season as the next man up. Garoppolo has a long future ahead of him if he can avoid injuries. He’ll spend 2022 as a backup with the squad he knows best.
Garoppolo can look for a new job after 2022, and if the last two offseasons are any indication, there will be openings. No one will know if Garoppolo can stay healthy enough to justify a new team’s interest until he completes a season without incident. That won’t happen until 2022, or until a desperate team calls the 49ers about Garoppolo.