Jimmy Garoppolo has started just seven games in his NFL career, but that was enough to earn him a record contract.
Garoppolo agreed to a five-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday, according to multiple reports. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported that the total value is $137.5 million.
That is slightly more than the five-year, $135 million deal Matthew Stafford received from the Detroit Lions last year, which was a record at the time.
At $27.5 million a year, Garoppolo’s deal is the largest per-year average salary on a long-term contract in NFL history.
The one possible mitigating factor is that there is no word yet on how much of that money is guaranteed.
A formal announcement of the contract agreement will be made at a press conference scheduled for Friday.
The 49ers could have used the franchise tag to ensure they kept Garoppolo for a year, but they wanted to get a long-term deal completed to indicate he is their quarterback for the foreseeable future.
Although he has started only seven NFL games — two with the New England Patriots in 2016 and five with the 49ers in 2017 — he has a perfect record in those starts, having won all seven.
Acquired this past season in a midseason trade with the Patriots in exchange for a 2018 second-round draft pick, Garoppolo made his first start for the 49ers in a Dec. 3 game against the Chicago Bears. The 49ers had a 1-10 record at the time, but they won their final five games with Garoppolo at the helm to finish 6-10.
In his six games for San Francisco, including one in which he did not start, Garoppolo completed 67.4 percent of his passes for 1,560 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions.
He also won his two games he started for the Patriots in 2016, when Tom Brady was serving his four-game suspension for his part in Deflategate. Garoppolo injured his right shoulder in the second game that season, and was replaced by Jacoby Brissett for the final two games before Brady’s return.
The 49ers are hoping Garoppolo can be the next in a line of Hall of Fame quarterbacks that played for San Francisco, including Y.A. Tittle, Joe Montana and Steve Young.
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