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Record NFL pay-day for young 49er

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The San Francisco 49ers and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo agreed to a five-year $137.5 million deal on Thursday, making him the highest-paid player in NFL history on an average-per-year basis.

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NFL.com was first to report the news of the signing on Thursday morning, and the deal will include the largest three-year cash total for a new contract in NFL history at just less than $90 million, according to ESPN.com.

Garoppolo is set to earn an NFL-record average of $27.5 million per season, topping the $27 million Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford earns annually.

That’s a hefty raise from the $820,077 base salary he played for in 2017.

Garoppolo was acquired from the New England Patriots mid-season in 2017 in exchange for a second-round pick. He took over the starting job four weeks later and went on to complete 67.4 per cent of his passes for 1,560 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions while starting five of six games.

The 26-year-old was due to become an unrestricted free agent next month.

He has started just seven career games since being drafted in 2014, and has 23 total appearances, but is 7-0 as a starter.

General manager John Lynch made re-signing Garoppolo the 49ers’ top priority after watching him lead San Francisco to five consecutive victories to close the 2017 season.

That included victories over playoff teams – the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars – and the five victories equalled the 49ers’ combined total from their previous 34 games.

“We want Jimmy to be a Niner for a long, long time,” Lynch said after the end of the regular season.

“That process is going to take place here. We’re eager to get that done, to have the opportunity. … You have our assurances, and the fans do, that we’d like nothing more than to make him a Niner for a long, long time.”

In 23 career games, Garoppolo has completed 67.3 per cent of his passes for 2,250 yards, 12 touchdowns, five interceptions and a 99.7 passer rating.

“I’ve heard talks about sample size,” Garoppolo said after the season finale. “It’s one of those things you can’t really control how much you play or when you play, but when your number’s called, I think if you make the most of your opportunities in this league, that’s what makes good players.

“That’s what I’ve tried to do in my short time being a starter, and good things have come from it.”

– Reuters

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