Garoppolo Just Became the NFL's Highest-paid Player

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo smiles as he walks off the field after a football game in Los Angeles

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo smiles as he walks off the field after a football game in Los Angeles

The next major domino on the 2018 National Football League quarterback carousel has fallen. Not much matters until that piece, err, brick is in place.

The San Francisco 49ers are locking down quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and they're giving him big money.

When a front office makes a decision on committing to a franchise signal caller, tenure is irrelevant. Of course, quarterback is the most important position, so it might be worth it. That's what makes Garoppolo's contract such a statement by the 49ers and why the impact will be noticeable in several areas.

It was expected that San Francisco would do everything it could to lock up Garoppolo long-term this offseason. He's a quarterback who falls under might-be-good, and this is what a quarterback who is either good or might-be-good costs.

"Why shell out for somebody like Kirk Cousins when Garoppolo is staring you right in the face?" It's also a testament to Kyle Shanahan and Garoppolo's respect for his head coach's offensive acumen.

I think Cousins is going to be more on the high end, probably at least over $80 million in guarantees. According to NFL.com, the QB's enormous deal will be used as leverage by other highly sought-after players like Kirk Cousins, who is likely to become a free agent soon. With Alex Smith now a member of the Washington Redskins, there were two huge potential free agents on the market.

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With this move, it is clear San Francisco is putting all of its trust in Garoppolo.

Garoppolo is unlikely to top the salary list for long, though. ESPN reported Sunday the Redskins are considering using the tag on Cousins again in order to trade him, but that seems highly unlikely.

In an exclusive interview with The Press Democrat on November 4, former 49ers GM Scott McCloughan said Garoppolo is no savior on his own. If one quarterback gets paid a certain amount, all of their values rise.

For now, let's take a look at a three-round mock draft that could impact the 49ers in 2018 and beyond, and how they can surround Jimmy Garoppolo with the best team possible.

Lynch, beginning his second year on a major rebuild in San Francisco, had a litany of options at his disposal.

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