This whole offseason, rumors swirled around San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Despite a Super Bowl appearance three seasons ago and a trip to the NFC Championship Game last year, the team was ready to move on to Trey Lance, a speedy quarterback with a strong arm.
As the summer came and went, Garoppolo didn’t receive much interest from other teams. So, the Niners re-signed him, but with a pay cut; Garoppolo’s base salary went from $24 million to $6.5 million.
Now, thanks to an injury, he can earn up to $16 million this year.
In the first quarter of San Franciso’s Week 2 game, Lance broke his ankle. The injury will require season-ending surgery, so Lance is on the shelf just five quarters into his first year as the starter. And that means Garoppolo will step back into the familiar role as the Niners’ first-string quarterback.
It also means he can make millions, thanks to different performance bonuses in his contract. In Week 2, he earned $250,000 for playing at least 25% of the team’s snaps and $100,000 because the Niners won. If he continues playing and the Niners keep earning victories, he can make millions.
That would be a pretty nice consolation prize for his pay cut, though Garoppolo is sympathetic towards Lance’s situation. Garoppolo tore his ACL in September 2018, undergoing a lengthy rehab process to get back on the field. It’s the latest tough blow for Lance, who has already experienced multiple injuries despite limited playing time throughout his career. In his first start, he sprained his left knee, and he broke a finger in a preseason game.
Lance’s propensity for getting injured was a key factor in the Niners re-signing Garoppolo. And now, the starter-turned-backup will be back in a familiar role for the rest of the season.
After years of coming close to a title, it would be quite the storybook ending for Garoppolo to win the Super Bowl in a season where he began as a backup. But that’s a long way off. In the meantime, Garoppolo is focused on helping the Niners win. After all, each victory is extra money in his pocket.