- In 2018, Jimmy Garoppolo signed a 5-year $137.5 million contract, the largest at the time
- San Francisco saw Garoppolo as their franchise quarterback
- The team is now competing for their sixth Super Bowl
Despite spending his first three-and-a-half seasons in New England as backup quarterback Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo appeared valuable enough as a franchise quarterback, and in 2018, the San Francisco 49ers signed Garoppolo to a 5-year $137.5 million contract. Before then, Garoppolo had only made two NFL starts.
At the time, the contract was said to be the biggest in NFL history, based on the average per year takeaway. On Sunday, as the Fates would have it, San Franciscos investment will face off against the Kansas City Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who KC will likely make an even bigger deal than SF made Jimmy G. Were talkin $200 million. (For now, still on his rookie contract, Mahomes is probably the most underpaid superstar in the NFL.)
Why did San Francisco take a chance on Garoppolo? Then 26-year-old had made his first start for the Niners during week 12 of the 2017 season. He went on to win his first seven starts. (The Niners, however, still failed to make the playoffs.)
At that point Niners GM John Lynch had apparently seen enough and felt Jimmy was their man. The next season, Garoppolo injured his ACL in week 3, ending his season. The Niners finished with a 4-12 record.
Its only been this past 2019 season that Garoppolo has really earned his keep. Despite a mid-level quarterback rating , he had a completion percentage of 69, and he lead a strong run offense to a 13-3 record, eking out two dominant NFC west rivals in the Seahawks and Rams.
If Garoppolo and company manage to outrun the Chiefs on Sunday (and if their top defense manages to stop KCs top offense), they will tied the Patriots and Steelers for the most franchise Super Bowl victories with six. They could also each take home $124,000. But whats that to a $137 million man? Lunch money.