Update 8/29/2022: ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers have agreed to a restructured one-year contract that’ll make Garoppolo the highest-paid backup quarterback in the NFL in 2022. The contract contains no-trade and no-tag clauses.
Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract and salary have seemingly been the subject of much discussion ever since he signed the deal with the San Francisco 49ers. After the 49ers just failed to reach the Super Bowl this past season, what is the situation with Garoppolo’s contract in 2022, and what are the 49ers’ options this offseason?
Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract details and bonuses
The 49ers and Garoppolo agreed on a new contract in 2018, with the full details of the contract reported at the time by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The 49ers locked Garoppolo up on a five-year deal worth $137.5 million with $48.7 million guaranteed at signing. Of that, $74.1 million was guaranteed for injury. On April 1 in both 2019 and 2020, salary for those years became guaranteed.
The contract contained a signing bonus of $7 million, with another $28 million in a guaranteed roster bonus in 2018. Additionally, the contract had $600,000 per year in workout bonuses and $800,000 in roster bonuses per game. Garoppolo’s salary cap hit was $37 million in 2018, before ranging from $20 million to $27 million between 2019 and 2022.
Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract length is for one more year
After signing his five-year deal with San Francisco in 2018, Garoppolo has one more year remaining on his contract. The final year of the deal contains $7.5 million that is guaranteed for injury only.
How does Garoppolo’s contract affect the 49ers’ salary cap?
Garoppolo is set to count $26.9 million against the salary cap in the 2022 season. Of that, there is a $1.4 million prorated signing bonus, $705,870 roster bonus, $600,000 workout bonus, and $24.2 million base salary. Due to his shoulder surgery, $8.9 million of that money is guaranteed. Of that, $7.5 million is in injury-guaranteed base salary, with a further $1.4 million in prorated signing bonus.
Nevertheless, the structure of Garoppolo’s contract provides the 49ers with some options.
Can the 49ers move on this offseason?
The 49ers’ options with Garoppolo have become somewhat more cloudy since the end of last season. Initially, while the 49ers might explore a trade, expectations were they would ultimately move on from Garoppolo by releasing him. However, the news that Garoppolo is set to have shoulder surgery could change the equation.
Due to incentives he reached back in 2019, Garoppolo has $7.5 million of his 2022 base salary guaranteed for injury. While not confirmed, that seems likely as it stands heading into the 2022 league year. Therefore, Garoppolo would leave the 49ers with $8.9 million in dead money if he were to be released. That is still $18.05 million in savings compared to his current cap number of $26.95 million.
If the 49ers can trade Garoppolo, they could save the full $25.55 million. That would still be the ideal situation for the 49ers. However, that would rely on a team being willing to take on over $25 million for one year of a quarterback that has several question marks surrounding him.
If the 49ers cannot trade Garoppolo, they have some options if they don’t want the $8.9 million in dead money. They could ask Garoppolo to take a pay cut or make a deal with him to add void years to the contract and spread the cap hit between 2022 and 2023. There is also the potential of an extension. But with Trey Lance on the roster, that seems unlikely. If Garoppolo remains on the roster, the addition of void years seems the most likely. But he may not be willing to agree to that if it means being a backup for 2022.