The deal quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo signed with the San Francisco 49ers this week made waves around the NFL — and specifically in Broncos Country — not only because of its heft but its effect on the contracts of other free agent quarterbacks.
Garoppolo, who’s started seven total games in the NFL (five for the 49ers) inked a five-year, $137.5 million contract with the 49ers, the richest contract in league history at $27.5 million per year.
The argument for how it hurts the Denver Broncos goes along these lines:
“The bar is set,” said “The Drive” host DMac on Thursday
“This what we heard here in Denver: Kirk Cousins isn’t worth all that money. 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.”
And if that bar is set north of $27.5 million per year for Garoppolo, “Schlereth and Evans” host Mike Evans argues the Broncos have been priced out on Cousins, who could demand $30 million per year or more.
“It hurts other teams, like the Broncos, who want to get involved in free agency with quarterbacks because it now takes that number and that number has been artificially inflated,” Evans said on Friday.
Evans said there’s “no doubt” Cousins would be a welcome sight among Broncos fans, who’ve seen “poor quarterback play” over the past few years, but it would be for naught unless he’s truly a special quarterback.
“Stokley and Zach” host Brandon Stokley, however, disagrees, saying that the Garoppolo deal doesn’t mean Denver can’t make a run at Cousins while also building a playoff-winning team.
“It might be up another million or two, but if you’re willing to spend $30 million, you’re telling me you’re not willing to go to $32 million if that’s what it takes?” Stokley said of a possible offer from the Broncos to Cousins.
“I mean, if you’re willing to spend $30, that tells me you think this guy is special, and that tells me you think this guy’s going to be here for the next five to 10 years, probably.”
Stokley said it’s not a “deal-breaker,” the bar that Garoppolo set for quarterbacks in the NFL, that it wouldn’t put Denver “out of the game.”
“You can find that money. You can redo contracts, restructure contracts, and do a lot of different, creative things to help your cap situation,” Stokley said.
Among those ideas is having Von Miller, who pushed for Cousins’ services in orange and blue during Super Bowl week in Minneapolis, take a pay cut, an idea suggested by “Pritchard and Cecil” host Mike Pritchard and vehemently by Evans’ co-host, Mark Schlereth.
“Von Miller, you have an incredible salary. You’ve earned it. Now, help us out. Help the franchise out,” Pritchard said on Tuesday. “I think that’s something that not only be explored but should be talked about. It should be discussed.”
Said Schlereth: “I couldn’t disagree with Pritch more. Von doesn’t owe them squat.”
Schlereth said Miller should be open to renegotiating his contract, but only if he gets all the money he’s guaranteed.
“Ultimately, the Broncos are the ones who screwed that up in the first place by not getting him done early. So, no, Von doesn’t owe them anything,” Schlereth said.
“It’s funny to me that people put that on Von Miller like it’s Von’s fault.”
Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.
- Should Kelly, not Keenum or Cousins, be the Broncos next quarterback?
- Pritchard: 'Game over' for Broncos with Cousins as Vikings won't tag Keenum
- Clough: DT could again be top-end WR for Broncos with good QB play
- Schlereth: National media giving Denver Broncos a ‘hall pass’
- LISTEN – Klee: Eustachy still CSU Rams coach if win-loss record flipped