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Jimmy Garoppolo could have waited and cashed in even more than he did after other quarterbacks re-set the market.
The San Francisco 49ers could have used a franchise tag instead of making a long-term commitment to make sure Garoppolo was worth a hefty investment after only seven NFL starts.
But both sides wanted this resolved quickly [url=http://www.clevelandindiansteamshops.com/authentic-michael-brantley-jersey]Michael Brantley Jersey[/url] , and did so with a contract that will pay Garoppolo a record $27.5 million per season over the next five years.
”This is where I want to be, honestly,” Garoppolo said at a news conference Friday. ”I wanted to get this deal done as fast as possible. It will only help our team going forward going into free agency. … I wanted to be here. I was excited to be here. I’m happy we got it done as fast as we did.”
Garoppolo’s $137.5 million contract has the richest annual value in NFL history, topping the deal Detroit’s Matthew Stafford signed last year by $500,000 a season.
The deal includes nearly $49 million that is full guaranteed, more than $74 million guaranteed for injury and more than $86 million that will be paid out over the first three seasons.
The franchise tag could have been a safer option for both sides, leading to more money for Garoppolo if he kept playing at the high level he showed this past season and more protection for the 49ers if he didn’t reach that level.
But neither side was eager to go that direction.
”We became convinced we had that as an option, but we didn’t want to use it,” general manager John Lynch said. ”We wanted to make Jimmy a 49er for a long [url=http://www.philadelphiaeaglesteamonlines.com/paul-worrilow-jersey]Authentic Paul Worrilow Jersey[/url] , long time. Do you have to have some faith for that? Absolutely. But he earned that faith we had for him. I know it wasn’t a super long time but we felt we had a really good grasp on the talent and that was only confirmed when he got here.”
San Francisco acquired Garoppolo from New England before the trade deadline for a 2018 second-round pick. As soon as he took the field a few weeks later, he immediately turned around a franchise that started the year with a 1-10 record.
Garoppolo took over as starter and led San Francisco to five straight wins to end the season. He completed 67.4 percent of his passes this season, averaging 8.8 yards per attempt with seven TDs, five interceptions and a 96.2 rating.
Among quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts last season, Garoppolo ranked first in yards per attempt, fourth in completion percentage. His 308.4 yards passing per game in his five starts also would have led the league had he played a full season.
Now he will have a full offseason to completely learn coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense, which could lead to even more production.
”Now the rush isn’t quite the same,” Shanahan said. ”He can start from the beginning and start from the first page and not the 50th page. He can get a better foundation. When you have a better foundation of where you’re coming from and learning, it gives you a chance to play at a higher level.”
Garoppolo has won all seven starts in his career [url=http://www.authenticswashingtonredskins.com/cheap-geron-christian-jersey]Geron Christian Color Rush Jersey[/url] , including two in New England to start the 2016 season when Brady was suspended for his role in ”Deflategate.” Only four other quarterbacks since the 1970 merger won their first seven starts, with Ben Roethlisberger the most recent to do it with 15 wins in a row in the regular season for Pittsburgh in 2004-05. Garoppolo’s 2,038 yards passing in his first seven starts are the fourth most among all quarterbacks since 1970.
The deal still leaves the 49er with more than $60 million in salary cap room, according to executive vice president Paraag Marathe, with several more holes to fill. The most glaring needs are upgrading the skill position players and interior of the offensive line, and finding a big-time pass rusher and cornerbacks to help the defense.
Lynch said he plans to be ”aggressively prudent” with that money but believes this deal will help sell the organization to potential free agents, including some who played for San Francisco this past year.
”One of the reasons for the urgency, if there was some for us, was heading into free agency this is a big deal [url=http://www.authenticsnewyorkgiants.com/cheap-saquon-barkley-jersey]Saquon Barkley Color Rush Jersey[/url] ,” Lynch said. ”It’s 75 degrees and sunny outside. We have this guy. Who wouldn’t want to be here? We want to become a destination where everyone wants to be.”
The New Jersey Devils can take a big step toward locking up a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in six seasons with a win against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Sunday.
The Devils (41-28-9) have 91 points and enter the game against the Canadiens in the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card position, five points ahead of the Florida Panthers, who hold a game in hand.
“Any win right now is going to be huge and we have to keep it going to give ourselves the best chance to control our own destiny and come out strong in Montreal tomorrow,” Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid told reporters.
The Devils are one point behind the Philadelphia Flyers, who hold the first wild card.
Both the Devils and the Canadiens will be playing the second of back-to-back games.
New Jersey is coming off a 4-3 win against the New York Islanders on Saturday while the Canadiens lost 5-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid made 27 saves against the Islanders and improved his record to 22-10-3 with a 2.89 goals-against average and .910 save percentage.
“Kinkaid is playing lights out. There’s not much more you can say. He’s stepped up and answered the bell. He’s carrying us right now,” New Jersey forward Blake Coleman told the team’s website after scoring a short-handed goal. “He’s a great guy and deserves all this praise. I don’t expect anything less down the stretch.”
Devils forward Taylor Hall, a candidate for the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player, scored his 35th and 36th goals of the season in the win against the Islanders. He also is looking to reach the playoffs for the first time in his eight-year career.
The Devils are 20-14-5 on the road this season, tied for the third-most victories away from home in the Eastern Conference behind the Tampa Bay Lighting (25) and the Boston Bruins (22).
Coleman’s goal was his third short-handed tally and New Jersey’s 11th this season [url=http://www.authenticsjacksonvillejaguars.com/cheap-logan-cooke-jersey]Logan Cooke Color Rush Jersey[/url] , tied with the Edmonton Oilers for the most in the NHL.
“We love our PK. We have a lot of speed and a lot of workers,” Coleman said. “We have fun out there. We skate with the best of them. It’s certainly fun to have that attack mindset when we turn pucks over versus just chucking the puck down the ice.”
Goaltender Carey Price is expected to start for the Canadiens, whose 68 points are fourth-worst in the league. He is 16-24-6 with a 3.07 goals-against average and .902 save percentage.
Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher, one of the few bright spots for Montreal this season, had a pair of assists against the Penguins to give him 51 points on the season, the first time he has surpassed the 50-point plateau.
The Canadiens lost for the 38th time in regulation Saturday against the Penguins. Montreal gave up three power-play goals against the Penguins and will be looking to stay out of the penalty box against the Devils to avoid a repeat of what happened against Pittsburgh.
“Especially against a team like that, which has talent and speed and is capable of making plays out of nothing,” Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin told the team’s website. “When you give them five power-play chances, it’s hard to stay in the game.”
“Right now [url=http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/authentic-ed-dickson-jersey]http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/authentic-ed-dickson-jersey[/url] , I think there are guys who aren’t ready to pay the price on the penalty kill and that winds up costing goals. At 5-on-5 it’s not that bad, but our PK gave up three goals,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien told the team’s website. “When you’re not ready to work or pay the price (you don’t win). We had a few chances, but we weren’t able to score.”
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