Jimmy Garoppolo: Contract sweepstakes — Who, Really, has the Leverage?

ESPN’s very own Adam Schefter threw a curve ball from left field recently when he brought up the notion that the San Francisco 49ers may not extend quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and would instead vie for another option such as using the franchise tag to possibly trade him this offseason. Niners Live’s response to the report? Game recognizes Game…. Jimmy Garoppolo: Contract sweepstakes — Who, Really, has the Leverage?

The recap:

The San Francisco 49ers traded their own 2018 second-round draft pick for New England Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and released veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Jockeying for leverage in contract negotiations 101

Let’s let ESPN’s Adam Schefter explain in his own words.

Schefter drops the mic:

“If the 49ers do not sign Garoppolo to a long-term deal, they could use a franchise tag on him and then dangle him to the highest bidder in a trade. If they were to do that, other teams would be interested, sources said, and they could possibly get back more than the second-round pick they surrendered”

For a check and balance on operation leverage please see video:

NFL Teams that could be in the market for a Quarterback

Curveball alert: There’s another quarterback that will be available in the offseason and he has the experience to go with a winning record. And coming from the good coaching of Andy Reid, he has seen a plethora of offensive systems in his career. His name? Alex Smith. He will also be available via trade this up and coming offseason. Also, could injury-plagued (all in his head) Andrew luck be on the market as well? 

Let’s take a deeper look at a glance:

  • Cleveland Browns: May very well end up with the first pick in the draft to select their signal caller, or they could revisit the trade of AJ McCarron in the off-season, a commodity coach Hue Jackson knows all too well
  • Jacksonville Jaguars: are winning with a formula of great defense and a running game that asks Blake Bortles not to mess things up and every now and then he plays over his head… The outcome? They have posted a 5-3 record and are 2nd in the AFC South
  • Arizona Cardinals: Carson Palmer isn’t getting any younger and was placed on IR with a broken arm. However, on the flipside, Bruce Arians wasn’t head over heels in-love with trading for Jimmy Garoppolo. In his words, “I don’t think there’s a big enough sample size.” Bruce Arians was alluding to his body of work and he thinks Garoppolo is a better fit for head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Here’s what he had to say recently: “Kyle does a great job with that style of quarterback. I think that’s a really good system fit.” (Via Eric Branch of the SF Chronicle). Notice he said that style of quarterback and good system fit. Are your eyes wide open?
  • Denver Broncos:  Yes, there are issues at this position and in mile high no doubt with the likes of Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, and Paxton Lynch.  Veteran signal-caller needed here.
  • Washington Redskins: Kirk Cousins is more than likely staying home and put; the two sides want each other.
  • Minnesota Vikings:  With their defense playing well, the return of a healthy Dalvin Cook, an emerging playmaker on offense in Stefon Diggs and a revamped offensive line, the Vikes might not feel the need to pay a king’s ransom for a quarterback in the offseason, seeing as they already did it once with Sam Bradford…  A healthy Teddy Bridgewater could, even more so, make this franchise pause on making any drastic moves for a QB. Also, they have quality depth and experience at the position with Case Keenum. 
  • New York Jets:  The Jets are 4-5 with 38-year-old Josh McCown at the helm. Their formula playing good defense, establish the running game, and having a game manager ala a need for a younger veteran quarterback.
  • New York Giants: Has Eli Manning seen his last days in the Big Apple? Sources: Giants looking closely at Sam Darnold, top QB prospects (via ESPN.com).

Could the 49ers really net a first round pick back for Jimmy Garoppolo, if they were to trade him? You would need leverage to pull that off, wouldn’t you? Hold that thought…

Here’s what Grant Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat had to say recently when he contacted former 49ers, GM Scot McCloughan: 

“Garoppolo and his agent have all the leverage, though,” I said on the phone. “Is that how you see it?”

“It is,” McCloughan said. “But the thing with Don Yee, who I know well, I guarantee there have been discussions. It’s cool that nothing is coming out from Jimmy or Don or San Francisco. But I guarantee, you don’t make a trade like this and give up the compensation like this without having a really good feeling that it’s going to work for long-term.”

A Quote by Cohn from the article, “ Until Garoppolo signs an extension — if he ever does — this trade isn’t as good as it looks.” Cohn, early on in the article makes some strong valid points, also about (paraphrasing of course) not having Garoppolo on a hook, line, and sinker before making the trade. Without further ado, it’s time to close this article with a finish for the sports ages….. 

Jimmy Garoppolo: Contract sweepstakes — Who, Really, has the Leverage?

Jimmy Garoppolo has more leverage than the 49ers. No doubt even Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles could see that, no pun intended of course. But he doesn’t have all the leverage, and here’s why he’s also got to shake the stigma or should I say stereotype of being a system quarterback coming from the New England Patriots who have been sketchy at best with quarterbacks coming from their program… Ala the Ryan Mallett, Matt Cassel, Brian Hoyer’s of the world. However, Jacoby Brissett who’s showing growth could be the exception, but the jury is still out.

Garoppolo has been surrounded by offensive talent, great coaching, a winning culture and a fairly weak division that they have steamrolled through for 10 plus wins a year and multiple playoffs/Super Bowls during his short career with two starts under his belt. 

Simply put, he’s had it good and easy with little to no adversity. Not like he’ll face with the San Francisco 49ers by having a lack of talent around him, receivers who drop balls, a highly penalized and undisciplined team. Also, the learning curve of digesting a new scheme, a team decimated by injuries and an offensive line that can’t consistently pass block or open up holes in the running game.  

Stats to know: Joe Staley has an overall Pro Football Focus grade of 77.5, pass block 77.1, run block 77.3 and is ranked as the 19th best tackle (along with surrendering 4 sacks on the season). Trent Brown’s overall grade comes in at 77.6, pass block 83.9, run block 45.6 and is ranked as the 17th best tackle (has only surrendered 1 sack on the season)  PFF subscription required. NoteFusco, Brandon G has given up 2 sacks. However, Tomlinson, Laken G and Kilgore, Daniel C have given up 4 sacks each

As aforementioned, other teams that may be in the market for a quarterback might not want to pay a king’s ransom of a first round pick or more for Garoppolo. Also, it should be noted that Garoppolo’s value could decrease or at best stay the same by way of injury or his to be determined first start and play in Santa Clara against the likes of the; Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Los Angeles Rams. Most of these teams have pretty good defenses and can rush the passer, and the 49ers can’t protect the quarterback. 

From Cohn’s article:

The 49ers want to extend Garoppolo’s contract, but “nothing is close or imminent,” according NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. And when the media asked Garoppolo at his introductory press conference if he sees the 49ers as his long-term home, he said, “We’ll see what happens.”

Jimmy Garoppolo: Is dating the San Francisco 49ers; he’s not ready to get married yet

In the end, the 49ers are the more desperate party at the negotiation table with Garoppolo’s team/agent. The 49ers only hidden leverage here is that Garoppolo doesn’t play lights out or he gets nicked up or banged up and he misses games and it gives the 49ers an opportunity to come with a contract that they’re comfortable with and both parties can sign off on based on the circumstances. Now if Garoppolo shows flashes of a franchise quarterback or he plays lights out, he has the 49ers in a bind and they’ll be forced to pay 20 plus million a year or attempt to franchise him at close to 24 million. 

Garoppolo’s agent has to know the 49ers are bluffing and put out that feeler to Adam Schefter as a contract negotiation ploy to gain leverage that he gladly and naturally reported which are the advantages of having John Lynch as your General Manager. Plus, the 49ers already went on record and said he’s here to be our franchise quarterback of the future, leverage Garoppolo. 

The 49ers will have no choice but to meet Garoppolo’s agent’s demands out of desperation and the lack of attendance at home games and having a 0-9 record and at times not being entertaining to watch will force the 49ers hand. After trying to sell Hoyer as the ultimate bridge/stop gag quarterback and spending a top 3rd round pick on C.J. Beathard only to now gladly have him take the punishment as a temporary starter/soon to be a back-up until they get Garoppolo up to speed to start makes an even stronger case for the 49ers paying the money. See Mr. Offensive Weapon Kyle Juszczyk… Aka the “Juice” and his 21 million dollar contract if you had any doubts.

Niners Live will be watching this situation closely under an objective microscope with hope and optimism that this situation pans out in everyone’s favor, fans included who want to see the 49ers on top again… Is Jimmy Garoppolo the guy to lead them back to the winning promise land? Only time will tell, and time is ticking, tick-tock, the 49ers are on the clock. 

Please join us again soon on Niners Live, the home of the faithful fan and analyst from an objective/analytical lens, of course.

All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.comPro Football Focus49ers.comESPN.comNFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author, Content Creator, EditorSequoia Sims .