The revised deal guarantees Garoppolo $6.5 million for this season, according to one such person. It contains per-game roster bonuses and playtime-based incentives that could boost its value to nearly $16 million. Prior to the restructuring, Garoppolo was expected to earn $25.6 million in the final season of his contract.
It appeared throughout the offseason that Garoppolo, 30, would be heading to his third NFL team after stints with the New England Patriots and 49ers. San Francisco has pledged to make Lance its starter in its second season, and it has granted Garoppolo’s reps permission to search for a business.
But Garoppolo’s recovery from offseason shoulder surgery, his previously hefty salary and moves other teams had made by the time the quarterback was cleared to return to throw in late June have complicated those efforts. More recently, there was speculation that the Cleveland Browns could make a deal for Garoppolo. Instead, they decided to use backup Jacoby Brissett as a starter while Deshaun Watson is serving his 11-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Garoppolo was in training camp with the 49ers but did not participate in practices or team meetings, instead training alone as he and the team awaited a trade which did not materialize. It remains possible that the 49ers could send Garoppolo elsewhere before the November 1 trade deadline. But his contract contains a no-trade clause that would allow him to veto any proposed deal he doesn’t like.
He is eligible for unrestricted free agency after the season, and the contract contains a provision prohibiting the 49ers from using the franchise player tag on him.
Garoppolo retained the starting job for the 49ers last season and kept Lance on the sidelines as a rookie, awaiting his opportunity. But it was clear after the 49ers’ loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game that the team was likely to look to Lance as a starter for the 2022 season.
Garoppolo has been adept at winning games during his NFL career. He made 47 regular season starts for the Patriots and 49ers, and his teams won 33 of those games. The 49ers are 31-14 in the regular season with Garoppolo as the starter. They have played in two of the last three NFC title games, qualifying for the Super Bowl in the 2019 season before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs.
But some have questioned whether the 49ers are winning games because of Garoppolo or in spite of him. He made ill-timed errors and threw 38 interceptions to go along with 71 career touchdown passes. He had 12 interceptions and 20 touchdowns last season.
The 49ers traded for the No. 3 pick in last year’s draft and used it on Lance instead of Mac Jones, the 15th pick who helped the Patriots to the playoffs last season as a rookie starter. .
Garoppolo spent 4½ seasons with the 49ers after 3½ seasons as Tom Brady’s understudy with the Patriots. The Patriots traded Garoppolo to the 49ers in October 2017.