Jimmy G is a Niner for Another Year
By: Cole A. McMahon
(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
The most anticipated Jimmy Garoppolo news broke yesterday but with a big twist – Jimmy G is staying a Niner?!
At around 2:30 p.m. it was announced the 49ers restructured Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract to a one-year $6.5 million deal with incentives that can reach $16 million. The contract also contains a no-trade and no-tag clause. Before Jimmy G’s restructured contract, the 49ers were at the bottom of the totem pole when it came to salary cap with Garoppolo’s cap hit is $24.2 million. Now with the new deal, the Niners are top-5 in salary cap with nearly $17.7 million being freed.
When the 49ers’ 2021 season was sealed, we witnessed the goodbye address from Garoppolo and the reassurance from Lynch and Shanahan that this is Trey Lance’s team now. However, by the time training camp came along, Jimmy G was still on the roster and was working out on the side field at the 49ers’ facility. John Lynch made it clear multiple times that “he’s (Garoppolo) too good a player” to be outright released. No trade would materialize with any team (whether that may be because of Garoppolo’s surgery or not) and as of Monday, the Niners might have the best quarterback situation in the league – depending on how you look at it.
Does the re-signing of Garoppolo prove the Niners have doubts in Trey Lance?
No, the signing of Garoppolo does not prove the 49ers are skeptical about Lance. It is more of an insurance policy if Lance gets injured sometime during the year. Garoppolo is a proven winner and with a Super Bowl-caliber 49ers roster, having two capable and talented quarterbacks on the roster might be the smartest move the Niners have made this year. Unfortunately, the offensive line is a big question mark and if they cannot hold up to protect Lance, Garoppolo can do what Shanahan may not believe Nate Sudfeld or Brock Purdy can do – win games and keep the Niners in the race.
Is Trey Lance put under unnecessary pressure with Garoppolo behind him?
If Lance is mentally affected by Jimmy G sitting under him and it affects his play, then it can be safe to say Lance would not have the guts to be put under pressure when the game is on the line and he has to make a perfect pass. This move by the Niners should only benefit Lance by making him work to get better each week and put the doubt out of anyone’s mind that Garoppolo could steal the starting spot back. Besides, the 49ers have given their assurance to Trey Lance and the media that Lance is the future of this team. The signing of Garoppolo should be seen as a strategic security blanket if things go sideways and a Lance injury occurs.
How does the dynamic of the locker room change with the ex-QB1 back in the locker room?
Perhaps one of the biggest concerns of Jimmy Garoppolo staying with the Niners would be how awkward the situation would be for the team. Garoppolo who has been the 49ers’ leader since the end of 2017 has all but been replaced by Trey Lance who is now taking over that role. It seems like it would be a highly awkward situation to be in for whoever you are in the Niners’ building. However, this deal would not get done if both sides were willing to make it happen. The 49ers get a big bonus in quarterback depth and Garoppolo gets guaranteed money he probably would not see if he signed somewhere else. Garoppolo understands his new role with the team and if he was not okay with it, he would not have re-signed with the Niners.
What at first seems like a crazy idea to keep Jimmy Garoppolo around may actually become the smartest and most important decision down the road.
Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch are scheduled to have a conference call today at 11:45 a.m. that will answer more of our Jimmy Garoppolo questions!