Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo signed a five-season, $137.5 million contract with the 49ers. This is, certainly, good news for Garoppolo.
And, just as certainly, bad news for the Broncos, who will be quarterback shopping during the NFL offseason.
Garoppolo showed promise this season, winning all five of his starts with the 49ers. His reward was a $27.5 million annual payday.
If Jimmy G. is worth $27.5 per season, how much is Kirk Cousins worth? Garoppolo has only shown hints of what he can do. Cousins has thrown for more than 4,000 yards for three straight seasons. Cousins has proven himself.
I'm thinking Cousins will earn $30 million in 2018.
Cousins has all the leverage. He can squeeze every last dollar from the Broncos, or any other quarterback-needy franchise. He will likely seek more than $100 million in guaranteed money.
To me, the question has never been if the Broncos should pursue Cousins.
Of course they should.
The question is:
Can the Broncos, working under the NFL's salary cap, afford Cousins?
The team that signs Cousins will secure a quality quarterback who hovers either just inside or just outside the NFL's top-10 list.
But the team that signs Cousins will face severe trouble in finding the money to pursue and retain talent. In other words, adding Cousins might threaten the team's future.
Today, Garoppolo is a rich man. And that's bad news for the Broncos.