The 49ers have made a whole lot of smart moves since Kyle Shanahan took over as head coach and John Lynch was hired as general manager before the 2017 season.
But not every move can be a home run. There's bound to be some swing and misses, too. San Francisco certainly has seen its fair share of those the past few seasons, too. The most significant might be signing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and edge rusher Dee Ford to their long-term contracts.
Over The Cap's Jason Fitzgerald released his list of the 25 worst contracts in the NFL right now and both 49ers made the cut. Garoppolo came in at No. 18 and Ford No. 6.
"This is one of those contracts that never made any sense when it was signed," Fitzgerald wrote about Garoppolo. "Garoppolo had a grand total of seven starts and a bit of an injury history when the 49ers signed this contract, despite having the franchise tag at their disposal, making Jimmy G the highest-paid player in the NFL."
Garoppolo's career with the 49ers couldn't have started any better. He went a perfect 5-0 as a starter to end the season, and San Francisco rewarded him with a record five-year, $137.5 million contract in February 2018. Lynch and Shanahan clearly felt they had their franchise QB.
Unfortunately for the 49ers, Garoppolo tore his ACL early in the 2018 season. But he did help lead them to Super Bowl LIV last season. His faults also were seen in the playoffs and this season when healthy.
Shanahan has said he expects Garoppolo to be his starting QB next season, but there are plenty of reasons to believe otherwise. Garoppolo has a $26.9 million salary-cap hit next season, and it only costs $2.8 million to cut him. At this point, it's far from a guarantee Jimmy G plays quarterback for the 49ers in 2021.
The 49ers acquired Ford in March 2019 from the Kansas City Chiefs for a 2020 second-round draft pick and immediately signed him to a five-year, $87.5 million contract. Ford was a key to the 49ers last season when on the field, but the problem is, it has been extremely hard to actually have him on the field.
Ford was limited to 11 regular-season games last year. This season, he has played just one game. Ford suited up in the season opener, but has been held out ever since with neck and back issues.
"In two years, the 49ers have paid Ford nearly $35M for 12 games, 12 solo tackles and six sacks," Fitzgerald wrote. "Nobody forced the 49ers to restructure this contract in 2020, but they converted $12.7M to a bonus to deal with cap issues leaving them with a pretty big number to cut next year but it's better than the alternative of paying him to miss football games."
Ford holds a $20.8 million cap hit next season, and it costs over $14 million to cut him. This quickly has turned into a nightmare for the 49ers.
The 49ers have a ton of decisions to make this upcoming offseason. They're in salary-cap Hell and might not be able to bring back stars like Richard Sherman or Trent Williams. Figuring out what to do about Garoppolo and Ford is just part of a long to-do list for Lynch.