Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports


Jed York says Jimmy Garoppolo is an investment in Trey Lance’s, 49ers’ futures

May 5, 2021 at 8:56 AM--


Jimmy Garoppolo will earn a base salary of $24.1 million in 2021. The plan is to have Trey Lance, whom the San Francisco 49ers drafted No. 3 overall last week, eventually take over for him. Keeping Garoppolo, a savvy veteran who is already well-versed in head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense, might seem like a no-brainer from a personnel perspective. After all, the 49ers are built to win now. Are the hopes of a championship season something you want to throw on the shoulders of a rookie quarterback?

Financially, it is a significant ask of ownership. That is a lot of money to invest in a player who may only be around for one more season. You're basically paying out much of your salary cap for a potential one-year rental. However, it does allow Lance the luxury of starting his NFL career by sitting and learning.

General manager John Lynch had to be worried when he approached York, asking not only to surrender valuable future draft capital to trade up but then asking to keep their already expensive veteran quarterback. After all, San Francisco could use that money on future long-term deals for players like Fred Warner or Nick Bosa.

"[T]hat's a big decision for an owner," Lynch recently told Sports Illustrated. "And he backed it 100 percent because he wants to win. We felt that gave us the best chance to win."

RELATED 49ers CEO Jed York recalls awkward conversation with Aaron Rodgers

York offered his own perspective into the decision and the investment in keeping Garoppolo while drafting a young star quarterback.

"Just rough math, over a five-year period, you're talking about a rookie quarterback contract versus a veteran," York explained to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. "I don't know what the quarterback market is going to be next offseason. But just looking at where we're at now, it's roughly about $150 million in cap savings.

"So, for us, if you invest $25 (million) or $50 million into your rookie to get them ready, then to me, we're investing in the long-term future of our team. And you never want to put somebody out there, especially a guy who you heard the sort of parlance about Trey, [that] he hasn't played as much.

"He's played as many or more games than the three quarterbacks that were taken either at him or around him, and he didn't play this season. They played one game. That's not Trey's fault. They wanted to play football this year."

York adds that Lance turns 21 on Sunday. He is young, and investing this year in a guy that could play for 15 years doesn't seem financially risky to the team's CEO.

"I want to make sure that we do everything we can to make sure that [the quarterback] position is the best it can possibly be in the NFL," York said. "And even if he doesn't play for two years, we still have an extra $100 million to put back into our team, on top of whatever we would have over free agency over the next five years."

York added: "For us, if we get the right quarterback, and we have somebody that can be here for the next generation of this football team, then no amount is too much for that."

You can listen to the entire discussion with York below.



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