Jimmy Garoppolo signed a five-year, $137 million contract with the San Francisco 49ers Thursday that makes him the highest paid quarterback in the NFL. Ever.
Garoppolo has seven career starts, and though he's won them all, plenty question if investing in the 26-year-old with such little experience is the right move. Most in the NFL would argue it is, but for the sake of Redskins fans, let's clarify a few things.
Just because San Francisco went all in with Garoppolo this offseason doesn't mean the Redskins were wrong to move on from Kirk Cousins and acquire Alex Smith.
Few quarterbacks have shown as high of a ceiling as Garoppolo.
Ask around the NFL, and scouts and coaches will tell you he had a higher upside than any quarterback taken in the 2017 Draft. Yes, there's not enough evidence to know how good Garoppolo can be, and it's still possible he flounders, but it seems unlikely.
One NFL coach said of Garoppolo, "The kid will be a star."
San Francisco could not let Garoppolo hit free agency, and they also learned from the Redskins' mistakes that using a franchise tag with a young, promising QB is the wrong move.
Ultimately, the Niners got this deal done because the organization believes Garoppolo will be better than Cousins or any other free agent that might become available. Most in the NFL think the same.
It helped that the Niners had the salary cap space to go all in on Jimmy G. Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch strategically cleared salary cap space to sign a quarterback, and now they've done it.
The Redskins, on the other hand, were not in the same situation with Kirk Cousins this offseason.
Cousins has shown who he is: A good quarterback that can play great games, and occasionally, lay a stinker. He's undoubtedly going to cash in on the free agency market, and it seems very possible he could overtake Garoppolo as the NFL's highest paid player.
But the Redskins did not have to sign Cousins. The Niners had to sign Garoppolo.
Cousins has the higher floor, as he's proven to be a solid starting quarterback in the NFL.
Garoppolo, meanwhile, has the higher potential, true elite capability, that few QBs possess.
The Redskins totally botched their contract negotiations with Cousins in 2016, when the team lowballed the QB. Right or wrong, the Redskins did not fully believe in Cousins at that point, and they still might not.
San Francisco, along with most of the NFL, fully believes in Jimmy G.
And that's how a guy with seven careeer starts becomes the highest paid in the NFL.
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