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Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports


49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo Should Take a Page from Tom Brady

Brian Renick
Jan 21, 2021 at 11:52 AM2


Last offseason, the San Francisco 49ers had a brief flirtation with Tom Brady. The Bay Area native was a free agent for the first time in his career, but the 49ers had just come off a Super Bowl run with Brady's former heir apparent Jimmy Garoppolo under center, so the flirtation was brief. Eventually, Brady signed with the Tampa Bay (Tompa Bay?) Buccaneers, who will be playing in the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers (fun tidbit: Tom Brady has been to more NFC Championship games in the last 25 years (1), than the Dallas Cowboys). Even though the future Hall-of-Famer didn't sign with the 49ers, he still could help the team in the 2021 season.

Jimmy Garoppolo learned a lot under Tom Brady in New England. One of Brady's best attributes as a QB is his leadership, and you can see some of Brady in the way Garoppolo leads his teammates. Many 49ers players, on both sides of the ball, rave about Jimmy's leadership ability. It's arguably the aspect of his game that teammates highlight the most when speaking about him. It's now time for Jimmy Garoppolo to put into practice another leadership lesson he learned from Brady and restructure his contract.

Tom Brady made significant financial sacrifices in New England to allow the team to surround him with the talent necessary to pursue Super Bowl titles. Business Insider published an article in March of 2020 estimating that Brady sacrificed at least $60 million during his career with the Patriots. During his 20 seasons in New England, Brady never accounted for more than 13.6% of the salary cap, and in the team's Super Bowl title years, he never accounted for more than 10.9% of the cap.

At his end of the year press conference, GM John Lynch stated that the 49ers were operating under the impression that the salary cap for the 2021 season would be set at $175 million. It is likely to be higher than that, but at that number, Jimmy Garoppolo's current contract would account for 15.3% of the cap. With so many free agents scheduled to leave the 49ers this offseason, including integral players like left tackle Trent Williams, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, and cornerbacks Jason Verrett and Richard Sherman, the 49ers are desperate for some financial flexibility to continue fielding a Super Bowl-caliber roster.

There are many signs that the 49ers plan on keeping Garoppolo as their starting QB, from Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan explicitly stating they are, to the reunion with former QB coach Rich Scangarello, who Garoppolo spoke highly of after his 5-game run to close out the 2017 season. If this indeed is the plan, then Garoppolo and the 49ers need to restructure his contract for the financial flexibility it provides in 2021, and a show of commitment to Garoppolo through 2022, effectively ending the nonstop rumors about a new QB in San Francisco.

According to OvertheCap.com, the team could gain an additional $11.8 million in cap space by restructuring Garoppolo's deal. This would also drop his cap hit to 8.7%. By committing to this, Jimmy would be helping out his team, while also guaranteeing himself the full value of the contract he signed in 2018. This would occur because a restructure would commit the 49ers to Garoppolo through the 2022 season due to the conversion of part of his base salary to a signing bonus, which is then amortized over the remaining length of the contract (this is how it creates cap space).

Restructuring Garoppolo's deal, along with some other financial moves the team may be able to make (cutting Dee Ford and Weston Richburg if they can pass physicals), would give the front office the ability to bring back some of the aforementioned free agents. It would also give it the flexibility to pursue outside free agents it identifies as upgrades to the current roster. When asked, on several different occasions, about a possible restructure for Garoppolo, John Lynch has had the same answer of "not right now."

If Garoppolo truly wants to be a part of this 49ers team, and sincerely wants to pursue a Super Bowl title in 2021, then he needs to approach the front office and let it know he's willing to do what it takes to bring back key players and build out this roster for a run at the Lombardi.

It's time for Jimmy Garoppolo to take a page out of Tom Brady's playbook.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


2 Comments

  • Merl n 16 is the GOAT
    Everyone needs to drop the crap about Jimmy G's not committed to the 49ers, he's restructured his contact once already, he's a team player and never had anything bad to say about the team. To me he's shown a total commitment toward the niners and everyone needs to drop the subject. LET THE DUDE JUST PLAY BALL.
    Jan 21, 2021 at 12:50 PM
    0
  • PJNiner
    Well written. Brady understood his legacy was more important than the money. Imagine if he didn’t take one for the team and only won 2 Super Bowls because they couldn’t afford to fill holes adequately all those seasons. If he was greedy and selfish would he still have been considered the GOAT? It doesn’t matter how many millions you have if you never win a Super Bowl. Jimmy got paid a ton of money for not playing at all this year. Maybe it’s time to show his teammates it’s not all about me, me, me and take a temporary pay cut while the Super Bowl window is still open for the Niners! He already has more money than he can spend in a lifetime, how about making rings the priority???
    Jan 21, 2021 at 12:25 PM
    0

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