49ers

Jimmy G is highest paid player in NFL, yet still ridiculously underpaid

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USATSI

Jimmy G is highest paid player in NFL, yet still ridiculously underpaid

Jimmy Garoppolo’s new contract with the San Francisco 49ers is still warm from the photocopying, but we know this much already.

He is ridiculously underpaid.

We know this because nobody has called Jed York an idiot lately, or booked a plane to fly over Levi’s Stadium for September 9. And that alone is worth every single dime York can pay.

As Comrade Maiocco reported, Garoppolo can make $137.5 over five years, with $74 million guaranteed.

The 49er Paradigm in the post-championship era has been reduced to a simple mantra: Unless the team does well, the owner is called a dope, and when the owner is called a dope, the fan base doesn’t boo. It stays away, and with it all the commercial opportunities that being the hot item on the menu can bear. And when the 49ers are the thing, the engines can’t run hot enough to sort all the C-notes.

Plus, Jed didn’t receive control of the team from his mother to be made to look ridiculous (courtesy Jack Woltz, The Godfather). Being savaged by a monomaniacal fan base is a serious drag for any budding billionaire, and most will spend what must be spent to make that noise stop.

Garoppolo makes that noise stop, at least until further notice. I remind all of you that for every Nick Foles, who can makes parades happen, there is an Andrew Luck, who is in his second full year of scaring the Indianapolis Colts to death.

So, until further notice it is. Still, for right now, Garoppolo gives the 49ers an emotional and commercial energy it lost in the ashes of the Harbaugh Disaster, and before that in the Post-Mariucci Era. The 49ers are 192-194 since their last Super Bowl victory, and that monument to mediocrity has been achieved with bursts of superb football and equal bursts of dreadful football, as in only five of those 23 seasons have had a record within a win or loss of .500.

Thus, it’s been banquets or bottom feeding in San Francisco, and in every low moment, a York has been blamed. Garoppolo has changed that, which is why even with a sample size as small as his, he is worth every dollar and cent, Bitcoin and Groupon. He makes the 49ers worthy of your attention, and that means you’re not paying attention to Jedediah The Earnest.

Now how can he in good conscience lowball such a godsend in human form? I mean, especially now that he has watched Jeff Lurie on the parade float he thought he’d have in 2013.

And that, boys, girls and undecideds, is why Jimmy Garoppolo is underpaid no matter how much he gets. He generates business and thrills and national relevance merely by existing, and you can’t get a better gig than that.

Kilgore: All of 49ers on same page 'for the first time in a long time'

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USATSI

Kilgore: All of 49ers on same page 'for the first time in a long time'

The 49ers’ coaching staff made its feelings known to center Daniel Kilgore throughout the season.

But, in the past, that would not have necessarily meant everyone in the organization had the same thoughts about Kilgore, who was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent.

“The whole season, coaches and I had a good relationship,” Kilgore said Wednesday on conference call with Bay Area reporters. “Just talking and having one-on-ones with various coaches, I had a positive outlook for the future.

“But that’s just one thing. The coaches have an opinion of you, but then there’s also the front office. That’s two totally different things. And I think for the first time in a long time, our coaches and the front office are on the same page.”

Kilgore was working out back home in Tennessee on Wednesday when he signed a three-year contract to avoid hitting the free-agent market. Kilgore, 30, a seven-year NFL veteran, described the contract as a team-friendly deal.

The 49ers presented Kilgore with a contract offer during the season but negotiations did not get serious until just recently. While the 49ers expressed interest in retaining Kilgore, he said he did not know what the future held for him when he packed his belongings from the locker room on the day after the season ended.

“It kind of makes you nervous because in this profession, people like the younger guys,” Kilgore said. “You just never know what will happen at any time, any given day, in the NFL. So toward the end, that last day of clearing out the locker, I didn’t know if I’d be back. I didn’t know if the Niners would want me back.”

Kilgore was named the winner of the organization’s top honor for an offensive lineman. Kilgore won the Bobb McKittrick Award for best exemplifying the dedication, excellence and commitment of the long-time 49ers offensive line coach. Kilgore started all 29 games in which he appeared the past two seasons, including a career-high 16 games last season.

"I've been here seven years and I consider the Bay Area my second home,” Kilgore said. “To be able to extend my career wearing the 49ers jersey was special to me. This team is heading in the right direction, I wanted to be a part of it."

Why the 49ers did not hesitate to pay Garoppolo big money

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Matt Maiocco

Why the 49ers did not hesitate to pay Garoppolo big money

When Jimmy Garoppolo signed a contract that could pay him up to $137.5 million over the next five years, he was asked what convinced him during his nine weeks with the organization that he wanted to be with the 49ers for the long term.

“I think it was a number of things,” Garoppolo said last week. “The team, the acceptance that they had of me when I first got here from the get-go, the coaching staff, Kyle and Rich. It was a very welcoming environment, and I really liked that. We had some success down the stretch, and you could see that pieces were falling into place. We've got a long way to go, but I think we're moving in the right direction.”

Kyle, of course, is head coach Kyle Shanahan. Rich Scagarello is the 49ers’ quarterbacks coach, and the person from whom Garoppolo spent the most time after arriving in Santa Clara on Oct. 31 after a trade with the New England Patriots.

Garoppolo earned $3.5 million in his first four NFL seasons. His new contract makes him the NFL’s highest-paid player, making an average of $27.5 million per season, with $48.7 million fully guaranteed.

Scangarello, appearing this week on The 49ers Insider Podcast, talked about what he learned about Garoppolo from working so closely with him to teach him Shanahan's offense. Scangarello said there is no question in his mind the money will not change Garoppolo’s approach to his work.

“That’s why it was easy for the organization and everyone to invest in somebody like Jimmy Garoppolo,” Scangarello said. “I just think that’s not the kind of person he is. If you met his family, you know where he comes from, what he’s about. His brothers, his parents, are just good, solid people people. He’s made of the right stuff and I just don’t see that affecting him in that way.

“It’s just not who he is. That’s the fun part of working with somebody like that every day. When they’re really talented and they appreciate everything and they work at it, you have a chance to be a successful organization and they can be a great player. And I don’t think those things will ever affect him.”