In 2013, Aaron Rodgers signed a five-year, $110 million extension with the Green Bay Packers that set a new bar for quarterback pricing, just over the $20 million per year range. The San Francisco 49ers set a new bar this offseason when they signed Jimmy Garoppolo to a five-year, $137.5 million deal that includes a $28.8 million roster bonus on the 2018 cap.
Garoppolo is the highest-paid player in the league, but that’s going to change soon. Rodgers has two more years left on his deal, with salaries of $20.56 million in 2018 and $21.1 million in 2019, and the Packers are already talking about an extension.
Word out of the combine, from new Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst, is that they’re in a hurry.
“We’d certainly like to get it done sooner rather than later,” Gutekunst said. “When you have the best player in the National Football League, it’s not going to be inexpensive. Obviously, Aaron is a high priority, he’s a great player, and that should take care of itself at some point.”
It’s also worth noting there have been some buzz about Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. General manager Thomas Dimitroff said that there’s no time frame on a deal, and didn’t tip his hand as to whether or not the Falcons would get a deal done before free agency starts and Kirk Cousins gets a truckload of money.
“I think you would like to go into the season making sure that things are secured, but there’s no time frame as far as people saying, ‘Well, do you want to get this done before free agency?’ Of course you’d like to get it done tomorrow, jsut because it’s a load off your mind,” Dimitroff said.
Ryan is entering the final year of a five-year, $103.8 million extension he also signed in 2013. It seems likely Rodgers will take the title of highest-paid player, and then it’s a toss-up as to whether or not Ryan and Cousins will match him or be just behind or ahead of him. Garoppolo’s days as the highest-paid player are certainly numbered.
Fortunately, the 49ers signed Garoppolo at a great time. They are paying him a lot, but there’s a lot to like about the structure of the deal. The Packers and Falcons have a lot of maneuvering to do to make new deals work under the salary cap. The 49ers figure to be fine in that area for the duration of Garoppolo’s deal, especially with them front-loading as much of his deal as possible.