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49ers modify agreement to keep Garoppolo as backup

By JOSH DUBOW, AP Pro Football Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Jimmy Garoppolo is staying in San Francisco after agreeing to a reduced contract to be Trey Lance’s backup on the 49ers.

A person familiar with the deal said Monday on condition of anonymity that the sides are finalizing a deal to reduce Garoppolo’s $24.2 million base salary for 2022. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.

ESPN reports that Garoppolo will receive a fully guaranteed base salary of $6.5 million, $500,000 in roster bonuses and the chance to earn nearly $9 million more in playing time bonuses. The deal also includes a no-trade clause and prevents San Francisco from using the franchise tag on Garoppolo next offseason.

The Niners had been unable to find a business partner for Garoppolo and faced a deadline with rosters cut to 53 players on Tuesday.

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They were unwilling to keep Garoppolo as a backup on his full salary, and with no chance of a starting job at another, the two sides reached a compromise.

Garoppolo had not participated in a single practice or meeting with the team in this training camp, training on his own while returning from off-season shoulder surgery.

But after spending the last five years in San Francisco, he should have no problem getting back up to speed with coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense and gives the Niners insurance if Lance struggles or gets hurt.

The other quarterbacks on the list are seventh-round rookie Brock Purdy and Nate Sudfeld, who hasn’t started an NFL game.

Garoppolo came to San Francisco to much fanfare in 2017 when he was acquired from New England before the trade deadline in San Francisco’s first season under Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.

The Niners lost their first nine games that season and were 1-10 when Garoppolo took over as the starter and led the team to five straight wins. That prompted San Francisco to give him a five-year, $137.5 million deal that offseason.

But Garoppolo had a season-ending knee injury in the third game of the 2018 campaign and also missed 10 games with injuries in 2020. In the two seasons in which he was mostly healthy, San Francisco had a great success as a team, even if Garoppolo had limitations. at quarterback.

San Francisco went 31-14 in his starts, while with other quarterbacks under Shanahan he went only 8-28. The Niners reached the Super Bowl in the 2019 season and the NFC title game last season.

San Francisco had put the plan in motion to dump Garoppolo before the 2021 season when the 49ers traded three first-round picks to draft Lance third overall. Lance spent most of his rookie season on the bench adjusting to the NFL, but was pushed into the starting role at the start of the 2022 offseason schedule.

Lance has started just three games the past two seasons in college and the pros after starting one season at lower-tier North Dakota in 2019.

Lance brings elements that were missing in Garoppolo with the ability to run and a stronger arm that should open up the offense for deeper passes to talented receivers like Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.

Garoppolo completed 67.7% of his passes in five seasons in San Francisco, averaging 8.4 yards per attempt with 66 TDs, 38 interceptions and a 98.3 passer rating. Garoppolo’s strength was getting the ball to his playmakers in space and letting them make big plays after the catch.

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