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Ex-NFL exec says Jimmy G's contract gives 49ers flexibility

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The NFL has already seen two starting quarterbacks switch teams this offseason.

Another one-time franchise quarterback found a new home when the Philadelphia Eagles agreed to ship Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts, ESPN reported on Thursday.

But former player agent and NFL executive Andrew Brandt said he does not believe there will be much more offseason movement at the game’s most important position.

“I’m going to be the boring guy here,” Brandt said on the 49ers Talk podcast. “I don’t think there’s going to be much else. I really don’t.

"I think there’s a lot of noise, but I’m saying Deshaun Watson stays. I’m saying Aaron Rodgers, of course, stays. I’m saying Russell Wilson stays. I’m saying Tua (Tagovailoa) stays; Derek Carr stays.”

Brandt hedged his bet, however, on 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

“Now, (Garoppolo) I don’t know,” Brandt said. “And part of that is because of the cap -- because they’ve allowed themselves that flexibility. If Jimmy Garoppolo had the dead cap number of Carson Wentz or Jared Goff, I’d probably say the 49ers are definitely keeping him. So economics does matter.”

Brandt pointed out that Goff, who was sent from the Los Angeles Rams to the Detroit Lions as part of the Matthew Stafford trade, will still count $22 million this season on the Rams’ salary cap this season. Stafford will count $19 million in dead money on the Lions’ cap. The Eagles will take a $34 million cap hit with the deal to send Wentz to the Colts.

 

“Jimmy Garoppolo would leave behind a trail of less than $3 million,” Brandt said. “That’s the optimum way of cap management.

“If they decide to move on -- and that happens in this league, we know it -- they’re flexible. They have an ability to do that and not upset their team building, their roster building, their cap management, which I believe is the optimal way to do it. But you have to have the cap room to do it.”

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The 49ers were comfortably under the salary cap in 2018, which enabled chief negotiator Paraag Marathe to structure a five-year, $137.5 million contract that included a $28 million roster bonus that counted entirely against the cap that season. Heading into the fourth year of his contract, Garoppolo has no more guaranteed money coming his way.

Garoppolo is scheduled to make $25.5 million in salary and bonuses in 2021. The 49ers could save $23.6 million if they were to trade or release Garoppolo.

There is no indication the 49ers are considering either of those options. Coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have repeatedly given Garoppolo votes of confidence.

“At the time of the negotiations a couple years ago, I praised the 49ers,” Brandt said. “I gave them credit where credit’s due because I thought this is a great structure of this contract because they had the cap room.

“That’s the key. Do you have the cap room to do it? And once you get that, you’re golden.”

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