The NFL’s Newest Highest Paid Player

If you were consumed with the NBA’s trade deadline this afternoon, it may have slipped by you that Jimmy Garoppolo signed a five-year, $137.5 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers that makes him the highest paid player in the NFL. Jimmy is 7-0 as a starter (2-0 with the Pats, 5-0 with the Niners) and looks like the next big thing, but the biggest story might actually be timing. The current trend in the industry has the highest pay day going to the player labeled “next,” not the one labeled “most valuable.” In fact the tweet below shows the five biggest earners in the league and they have a combined for exactly zero MVP awards.

A glance around the internet today revealed that all NFL players are happy about this, and that includes veterans who earn far less despite boasting significantly grander credentials. The truth is that a rising tide does indeed lift all boats in this case.

Casual fans probably aren’t familiar with Jimmy G just yet, but, if his play down the stretch this season is any indicator of future success, he could be in the MVP discussion soon, which is to say that he’s on the brink of becoming a household name. Who is he though?

Jimmy G-sus played at Eastern Illinois, the same college as Tony Romo, and actually broke a lot of Romo’s records in his four seasons as a Panther. He was selected by the Patriots in the second round of the 2014 draft and has mostly been carrying a clipboard and learning from some of the game’s best, but he does have a pair of Super Bowl rings as a backup to Tom Brady.

In an age where QBs are mostly required to step in and play right away, I find it admirable that Garoppolo went the Aaron Rodgers route, biding his time behind a legend and waiting for his chance. Once that chance came, he was ready playing spectacular football in five starts for San Fran at the end of this season. I think Jimmy G and Kyle Shanahan is a terrific pairing and I can’t wait to see what they do with this suddenly relevant SF team.