Jimmy Garoppolo, Jared Goff, Russell Wilson and [Arizona Cardinals future quarterback, maybe] are the future of the NFC West. Actually, they’re the present, but presumably the future as well.
Garoppolo was just signed to the largest contract in NFL history by the San Francisco 49ers. Goff is entering his third year in the league for the Los Angeles Rams after a hugely impressive second year (which itself followed an extremely poor rookie campaign). Wilson wasn’t at his best this past season — the Seattle Seahawks as a whole struggled in weird spots — but his next deal will likely exceed Garoppolo’s by a decent margin.
Over at ESPN, they had a few of their experts predict the NFC West titles and the “team best set at quarterback.” The Cardinals are obviously not really discussed because they are almost totally devoid of hope at the position. The answers are interesting.
Alden Gonzalez is their Rams reporter and I think he makes the best point. He talks about the overall increase in quarterback contracts and the fact that both Wilson and Goff will need new contracts in the next two and three years, while Garoppolo is under contract for much longer.
If that trend continues, the highest average annual value could top $34 million heading into the 2021 season. A price tag such as that could belong to Goff, which is my long-winded way of saying that the 49ers will be better off with Garoppolo. He’s going to shine under coach Kyle Shanahan, so much so that he might just be a bargain by then.
In other words, the Rams and Seahawks are poised to commit a lot more to their quarterbacks in the near future. But this isn’t just about salary cap. As far as talent goes, most of them think Wilson is the best right now and that will continue to be their opinion until Garoppolo or Goff win some playoff games.
That’s a fair assessment. A couple of them suggest that Garoppolo could have the highest ceiling of all three, and I agree. Goff’s progress from Year 1 to Year 2 was shocking, though, and I’m extremely interested to see how he performs in 2018.