What Jimmy Garoppolo staying with 49ers means for Seahawks – The Seattle Times

So now it’s officially, OFFICIALLY Geno Smith season in Seattle.
Even though Seahawks coach Pete Carroll named Smith as the team’s starter following Friday’s preseason finale at Dallas, speculation continued that Seattle would potentially have at least some level of interest in Jimmy Garoppolo if he were to become available.
But you can quash all that now as reports Monday afternoon stated Garoppolo and the 49ers had worked out a new contract that means he is not going anywhere for now.
Garoppolo had been due a $24.2 million base salary in 2022, which fueled speculation about his future since there was no thought the team would keep him at that price to back up second-year QB Trey Lance.
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The 49ers were known to be trying to trade him, but pulling off a deal proved tricky as teams didn’t want to take on that salary and were waiting to see whether he would eventually be released. Many speculated the Seahawks would be interested in Garoppolo were he released this week with teams having to cut their rosters to 53 by 1 p.m. PT Tuesday.
But that won’t happen now. According to reports from ESPN and the NFL Network, the two sides worked out a new contract that will pay Garoppolo a base salary of $6.5 million with bonuses that can add another $9.5 million to the deal for a total potential package of $16 million overall, including $500,000 in roster bonuses and up to $9 million in bonuses tied to playing time.
It also includes a no-trade clause as well as an assurance that he will not be tagged following the 2022 season so that he can then become an unrestricted free agent in spring 2023, when he will be 31.
ESPN reported that the no-trade clause has the effect of “assuring Garoppolo will remain in San Francisco this season.”
The no-trade clause appears to mostly just give Garoppolo the right to refuse a trade and doesn’t rule out that he could be dealt down the road (the trade deadline this year is Nov. 1), which would be much easier at that point with half the season played — and half of his much-lower base salary having been paid.
But regardless of what options could be down the road, the new deal ends any immediate speculation about Garoppolo’s future.
And for Seattle, whose interest in Garoppolo was either somewhat strong if released or lukewarm at best, depending on the report and source, it assures that the Seahawks will enter the season with Smith at QB.
Smith was anointed as the leader on Seattle’s depth chart when Russell Wilson was traded in March, a deal in which the Seahawks also acquired quarterback Drew Lock.
And while Carroll said throughout that Lock had a chance to win the job, Smith remained atop the depth chart, ultimately starting all three preseason games (Lock was scheduled to start the second game against the Bears before testing positive for COVID-19).
After being the full-time starter for the Jets in his first two seasons in 2013 and 2014, Smith has started just five games since — three as an injury replacement for Wilson a year ago, performances that helped him win the job.
Smith re-signed to a one-year deal in which he is able to make $3.5 million if he remains on the roster for the entire season, including a base salary of $1.26 million that becomes guaranteed with him being on the roster after the cutdown to 53.
“It means a lot,” Smith said Friday of winning the starting job. “I’m pretty sure it’s something I’ve been preparing for. The reality is that it’s just step one. It’s just the beginning. I’ve got to make sure that I’m ready to go out there, win and play 17 games and more. So, for me, I’m grateful. I’m thankful. I’m forever indebted to the Seattle Seahawks organization. But it’s time to get to work.”
And after an offseason that included endless speculation about not only Garoppolo but also Baker Mayfield, that work for Smith and the Seahawks in preparing for the Sept, 12 opener against Wilson and Denver can begin with no more questions about who will be behind center for Seattle.
The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.

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