San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will not be playing for another team in 2022. On Monday, Garoppolo agreed to a restructured one-year deal that will keep him in San Francisco, CBS Sports NFL Insiders Josina Anderson and Jonathan Jones report. The contract includes no-trade and no-tag clauses, according to ESPN. Garoppolo will become a free agent next offseason.
According to NFL Media, Garoppolo’s new deal is worth $6.5 million that is fully guaranteed, and includes incentives that can push his money close to $16 million. With the 53-man roster deadline Tuesday, the 49ers had to make a decision on Jimmy G, and he will now return to the fold as Trey Lance’s backup.
Garoppolo’s original base salary in 2022 was $24.2 million, and likely a main reason why his trade market never materialized — especially with the quarterback undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. Just last week, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan didn’t rule out the possibility of San Francisco keeping Jimmy G in the fold. Now, the 49ers have a very solid backup plan should something go wrong.
Garoppolo’s name remained in the news all offseason. It was reported in July that the rival Seattle Seahawks were considering adding Jimmy G to their quarterback battle. It was also reported earlier this month that the Cleveland Browns would consider taking a look at Garoppolo if Deshaun Watson’s suspension increased, which it did. When New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson went down with a knee injury in Week 1 of the preseason, many thought Robert Saleh would make a move since he was familiar with Garoppolo from his days as San Francisco’s defensive coordinator, but that did not happen either.
As time went on, it started to feel more and more likely that the 49ers could keep Garoppolo. 49ers owner Jed York even said recently that the team was in no rush to trade the QB, and that he would be happy to keep him.
“I’ve said this before, you can’t have enough good quarterbacks and good football players,” York told The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami. “I’m not going to get into roster discussions and what John (Lynch) and Kyle (Shanahan) want to do. But I will support them in sort of anything that they want to make this team as good as it can possibly be.
“I watched it with Joe (Montana) and Steve (Young), and I realize the salary cap is different today than having no salary cap. But we’ve said it before: We’re happy to keep Jimmy. We’re happy to have him on the roster. And if that’s the case, then that’s the case.”
Garoppolo, who turns 31 in November, threw for 3,810 yards, 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 15 games played last season while going 9-6 as the starter. San Francisco rebounded from a 2-4 start to reach the playoffs with a 10-7 record, and pulled off two straight upsets in the postseason before falling to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship game. Even with what was an overall impressive campaign, the 49ers gave up a king’s ransom to select Lance at No. 3 overall last year for a reason.
Jimmy G was traded to the 49ers from the New England Patriots in the middle of the 2017 season. After winning his first five starts with the 49ers to close out the year, San Francisco signed him to a five-year, $137.5 million deal. Garoppolo would tear his ACL in Week 3 of the 2018 campaign, but returned in 2019 to lead the 49ers to a 13-3 record, and a Super Bowl appearance vs. the Kansas City Chiefs.
While Garoppolo has the fourth-highest win percentage among all NFL quarterbacks since 2016, the 49ers offense was never headlined by Jimmy G’s arm compared to San Francisco’s impressive rushing attack or its ingenuity in utilizing different playmakers such as Deebo Samuel. As soon as the 49ers made their big trade up to the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, it felt as though Garoppolo’s days as the starting quarterback for the franchise may be numbered.
With the 49ers’ decision to keep Garoppolo, there will be plenty of chatter about the team’s confidence level in Lance. Either way, their quarterback room is more solidified with a veteran that has spent years in the offense.