Published: Fri, February 09, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo reacts to extension on Instagram

49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo reacts to extension on Instagram

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has become the highest-paid player in National Football League history after agreeing a five-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers. After picking up two Super Bowl rings in New England, Garoppolo became the face of one of the NFL's biggest franchises and just cashed in with a historic contract after five consecutive wins to end 2017. The Niners, who were just 1-10 before Garoppolo took over at quarterback, won all five games he started as the team finished the season 6-10. With the San Francisco quarterback getting five years and $137.5 million - including $90 million in guarantees - Kirk Cousins is surely grinning from ear to ear.

After arriving from New England in an October 31 trade and revitalizing the 49ers with his 5-0 December debut, Garoppolo proved himself a keeper - and an expensive one. If Cousins refused to negotiate a new contract, it's unlikely the Redskins could get much in return for him.

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The deal was expected unless the 49ers were forced to franchise tag Garoppolo, but this works out well for both parties. If Garoppolo turns into the star they believe him to be, the 49ers will have him on what is considered a cheap deal by 2020.

Over the course of those five games, Garoppolo threw for 1,542 yards and seven touchdowns while turning heads across the league in the process.

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NFL Network's Mike Garafolo first reported the deal that seemed to make Garoppolo the 49ers franchise quarterback. After installing Garoppolo as the starter, those averages shot up to 29 points and 409.6 yards per game over the final five weeks.

Make no mistake, Garoppolo still has plenty to prove before he can safely be tossed in the upper echelon of the NFL's top quarterbacks, even though he's now being paid like one. No team would want to trade for Cousins without him agreeing to a new contract as part of the deal. The first day to do that would have been February 20. Considering the 49ers have more than $110 million in projected cap space this offseason, it wouldn't have hamstrung any of his other plans in free agency.

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