What would a potential Jimmy Garoppolo extension look like?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The announcement that Jimmy Garoppolo will not be traded doesn't have me fully convinced. There are too many examples of sports teams announcing that a player in untouchable before changing their mind and trading him when the team ends up getting a higher offer from another team.

However, if the Patriots do in fact keep Garoppolo around as Brady insurance, I refuse to believe that Belichick's endgame is a 2019 3rd round compensatory pick. He's too shrewd to not maximize value to the fullest. For this reason, I believe that if the Patriots do not trade Garoppolo, he will be signed to an extension. The Patriots have much more leverage to sign a deal with Jimmy G this year (with him set to earn only 895,077 this year) compared to next year, when he can sign for true market value. With such a small salary in 2017, they have leverage over Garoppolo. When crafting this kind of extension, it's important to note that the new CBA is projecting massive cap growth, with Ian Rapaport expecting the cap in 2020 (the last year of the current CBA) to exceed 200 million.

Now an extension is complicated from both sides given how much Garoppolo is going to cost to play 0% of snaps in the best case scenario. For an extension to be worth it, the Patriots need the contract to be...

1. Both front loaded AND backloaded

2. It needs to tradable, in order to be able to move it if Brady does in fact play until he's 42+ years old.

3. It needs to be many years in length so that if Brady retires or suffers a career ending injury soon, Garoppolo is locked up well into the future.

On the other hand, there are also many factors that Garoppolo needs in a contract extension in order to sign.

1. The money guaranteed the first 2 years must be in the ballpark of 23 million (Rough total of 2017 salary+2018 franchise tag)

2. The contract must be similar or greater in value compared to Osweiler's contract

3. There must be guaranteed money past year 2 so he has some job security (unlike Osweiler's deal)

This is my proposed extension for Garoppolo, which I believe fits the criteria of both sides.



Base Salary


Signing Bonus

Roster Bonus


Option Bonus

Workout Bonus

Cap Hit

Dead money if cut

Dead cap if traded

Dead cap if cut

























































It is a 5 year 75 million dollar contract with 36,000,000 guaranteed. There is a 7,500,000 dollar signing bonus and a 21,000,000 dollar option bonus after the 2019 season, to go along with 7,000,000 and 10,000,000 dollar roster bonuses in 2020 and 2021. The base salaries for the first 4 years are fully guaranteed and the base salary in 2021 has 1,500,000 guaranteed. Guaranteeing Garoppolo's base salaries but not giving him a hefty bonus is an important detail in his contract. Guaranteeing the salaries means that if the Patriots trade him, they are left with very small dead cap hits. This ensures that he remains a trade chip. And Garoppolo is guaranteed 20,400,000 in signing bonus+base salary+workout bonus money over the first 2 years of his contract.

Year by year breakdown


The Patriots take advantage of the last year that Brady's cap hit is small compared to normal (14,000,000). Garoppolo is a backup and still maintains huge trade value.

Trade value after the 2017 season: Garoppolo on this contract might actually have more trade value than he does right now. 2 cheap years (2.7 and 8 million dollar cap hit to the teams trading for him) under contract plus the option? That's potentially worth a top half 1st rounder and more.

Salary cap: 167,000,000


Brady's cap hit rises to 22 million so Garoppolo's cap hit goes down to 4.2 million. Garoppolo remains a trade target but his low salary cap hit ensures that both can remain on the roster if no trade materializes.

Projected salary cap: ~182,000,000


Now this is the important year. Garoppolo's cap hit rises to 9,500,000 to go along with Brady's 22,000,000 cap hit; it's unreasonable to keep both. At this point, Brissett will be in the 4th year of his rookie deal as well. This year, the Patriots would have to make a big decision. 2019 would be Brady's age 42 season and the dead cap to cut him would be only 7,000,000. If he has seriously declined at that point, cutting (or trading) Brady and keeping Garoppolo would be a sound financial decision. The cap hits for Patriots QBs would be 9,500,000+7,000,000 in that scenario which is more than reasonable.

On the other hand, if Brady is still Brady at age 42, Garoppolo could once again be traded prior to the season. In that scenario, his trade value would be similar to what it is this year, a 1st and change. He would have 1 year of cheap control and an option bonus coming in 2020 that is similar to franchise tag money.

Projected salary cap: ~192,000,000


Now this is where it gets interesting for the Patriots or whatever team traded for Garoppolo. Lets say that Brady retired before the 2019 season and Garoppolo started that season. After that year, all of Garoppolo's option and roster bonuses kick in, raising his cap hit to just over 24.5 million and 25 million for the next 2 years. If the Patriots decline the option (and roll with Brissett or some QB they drafted in the future) and instead choose to cut him, the dead cap of 11,500,000 isn't crippling and he still might have trade value to teams throughout the league, in which case the dead cap hit is very manageable.

Those '20 and '21 cap hits seem like a huge amount of money to pay for a guy that has been basically a 1 year starter, but it's important to factor in the cap spike. The salary cap in 2020 should exceed 200,000,000. 24.5 million and 25 million dollar cap hits represent 12.28% and 12.53% of the cap. That's the equivalent of 20.5 million and 20.93 million dollar cap hits in 2017. That is right in range of many of the middle tier starting QBs in 2017. Sam Bradford, Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, Osweiler, Eli Manning, Rivers, Cam Newton, Tannehill, and Stafford all have cap hits that range from 18-22 million next year.

And once again, Garoppolo does still have trade value in this scenario. Look no further than Kirk Cousins and his massive trade value. Last year, he was a 1 year starter and even with the franchise tag (approximately the same time adjusted cap hits of Garoppolo's contract) he would have fetched back at least a 1st. This offseason, as a 2 year starter, his trade value is multiple 1sts, even with his bloated cap hit that can't be realistically re-tagged for next season.


If the Patriots are in fact serious about keeping Jimmy Garoppolo around as a long-term quarterback of the future, they need to capitalize on their leverage and extend him immediately, before he hits the open market after the 2017 season. In this contract that I laid out, both sides are appeased. Jimmy Garoppolo gets market value in terms of guaranteed money over the first 2 years of his contract and he gets security into the future with guaranteed salaries throughout all 5 years of the deal. And from the Patriots side, they manage to front and back load the contract, while also signing him for as many years as possible in order to hedge against Brady retiring. By guaranteeing the salaries and not giving Garoppolo a very big signing bonus, they ensure that Garoppolo's contract is always tradable if Brady continues to excel until age 45 like he has stated.

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