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Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers looks to pass during the first half of a game against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on December 31, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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Why’s the Garoppolo deal important for Broncos? It sets the QB bar.

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers looks to pass during the first half of a game against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on December 31, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

For teams without any question marks at quarterback, the Jimmy Garoppolo deal announced Thursday is just a major NFL headline.

The former Tom Brady backup-turned-San Francisco 49ers starter inked an extension through the 2020 season, the team announced on Thursday.

But it’s how much that deal’s worth that could keep teams trying to solve the quarterback position, like the Denver Broncos, up at night.


NFL Network Insider Mike Garafolo first reported the money attached to Garoppolo’s contract — $137.5 million over five years, making him the richest player in NFL history in terms of annual average salary ($27.5 million).

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter also reported that Garoppolo will make $90 million guaranteed during the first three years of the contract, the most over a three-year period in league history.

So, why does a deal matter for the Broncos?

“The bar is set,” DMac said on Thursday.

“This is what we heard here in Denver: Kirk Cousins isn’t worth all that money,” the “Drive” co-host said. “It doesn’t matter because this is where it’s going. And I think some fans just have a hard time accepting the reality of the situation.

“If (Garoppolo’s) worth that, what’s Kirk Cousins worth? I mean, look what Kirk Cousins has done in the NFL compared to Jimmy Garoppolo. It’s mind-blowing.”

Cousins, the soon-to-be former Redskins quarterback, has been linked to Denver for much of the past season, with speculation rising last week as Washington traded for Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowl quarterback Alex Smith.

And Cousins, who played under the franchise tag the previous two seasons, has significantly more experience under center than Garoppolo, who’s started just seven NFL games.

“The bar, for me, has to be at least $29 million (per year), and I’m aiming for $30 million,” Chad Brown, DMac’s co-host on Thursday, said of Cousins’ agent.

Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.