Jimmy Garoppolo can jump for joy at Saints’ contract with Derek Carr

Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Free-agent quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has to absolutely love the amount of money the Saints are giving to Derek Carr on his new contract.

Soon-to-be ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo got exceptionally rich back in the 2018 offseason when the Niners made him the highest-paid signal-caller in the league despite him only playing five games for the franchise.

Now a free agent entering 2023, Garoppolo could easily strike it rich once more.

Garoppolo’s camp benefits from a number of factors this offseason. While the same could have been said a year ago amid a poor offseason quarterback market, the overwhelming number of quarterback-needy teams should create a lucrative buyer’s base for even mid-level signal-callers.

Even if Garoppolo is coming off yet another season-ending injury suffered last season, there’s probably a better chance of him having suitors than not.

And, when NFL free agency officially hits on March 15, Jimmy G is poised to cash in big time.

Derek Carr cashes in with Saints, Jimmy Garoppolo will want to cash in, too

Garoppolo can’t negotiate with teams until March 13. However, fellow veteran quarterback Derek Carr was able to meet with teams after the Las Vegas Raiders released him late last month.

This gave Carr a headstart on NFL free agency, but it also gave other pending free-agent quarterbacks like Garoppolo, the Seattle Seahawks’ Geno Smith and the Cleveland Browns’ Jacoby Brissett ample time to see how the financial market would play out.

As it turns out, the market will play out nicely.

First reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the New Orleans Saints are inking Carr to a four-year deal worth up to $150 million with $100 million of it guaranteed:

That’s an annual average value of $37.5 million, $10 million above the annual average that Garoppolo received from San Francisco back in 2018.

Plus, with the $100 million in guarantees, Carr might reset the market for the mid-level quarterback.

Garoppolo should be happy about that, too.

What kind of contract will Jimmy Garoppolo receive after Derek Carr’s deal with Saints?

Carr and Garoppolo have distinct advantages over each other.

The former has had better health in recent seasons, whereas Garoppolo’s market will be hindered by his injury history. Garoppolo, meanwhile, has been under center for two of the 49ers’ recent three playoff trips.

And, while some would argue the Niners carried Garoppolo into the postseason and not the other way around, the fact he’s been part of San Francisco’s playoff runs will carry weight over Carr’s lone single game in the postseason, a 2021 Wild Card loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Garoppolo might feel he’s superior to Carr in one regard or another, but that doesn’t necessarily matter here.

Related Story: Boston media wishes Jimmy Garoppolo was back with Patriots

If Garoppolo earns a new contract worth $38 million, it’s still a massive win. If he’s slightly behind at an average of $35 million per year, it’s also a major win.

A bad market for free-agent quarterbacks could have resulted in annual averages not exceeding $25 million. Knowing what Carr is now set to receive, Garoppolo could easily command a deal worth up to $152 million over four years.

It might not contain as much guaranteed money, given Jimmy G’s injuries, but the incentives could be lucrative and rewarding.

And Garoppolo has to thank both Carr and the Saints for making that happen.

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