At the start of the season, the San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback was 2022 No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance, who the team traded four draft picks to get. Then, it was a highly-paid veteran who the franchise has paid over $124 million since 2017. Now, after the Jimmy Garoppolo injury, the 49ers starting QB is seventh-round rookie Brock Purdy, who the team not only drafted in the seventh round but took him dead last. That makes him the “Mr. Irrelevant” of the 2022 NFL Draft. So, what does the Brock Purdy contract look like, and how does it compare to the Jimmy Garoppolo contract and Trey Lance contract?
What the Brock Purdy contract looks like as ‘Mr. Irrelevant’ 2022
“Mr. Irrelevant” is the tongue-in-cheek title bestowed upon the last player drafted in the NFL draft. Since the unofficial designation started in the late 1970s, most “Mr. Irrelevant” players haven’t done much in the NFL.
However, a few have had excellent careers (kicker Ryan Succop), played in Super Bowls (linebacker Marty Moore), and even came from my high school (shout-out Maine WR Kevin McMahan and the Aquinas Lil’ Irish!).
In this year’s draft, the honor went to Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy.
Purdy was a four-year starter for the Cyclones, who threw for 12,170 yards with a 67.7% completion rate and 81 touchdowns with 33 interceptions in his college career.
As the last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Brock Purdy contract is a four-year deal for $3,737,008 with a $77,008 signing bonus guaranteed. This season, Purdy has a base salary of $705,000, and when you add in his prorated signing bonus, the 49ers have a $724,252 cap hit.
In the next three seasons, Purdy’s base salary will be $870,000 (2023), $985,000 (2024), and $1,100,000. That works out to an average annual salary of $934,252.
And for all you amateur 49ers salary cap aficionados, his dead cap hits (due to the prorated signing bonus) will be $889,252 (2023), $1,004,252 (2024), and $1,129,252.
How the rookies’ deal measures up to the Jimmy Garoppolo contract and Trey Lance contract
In 2022, the San Francisco 49ers are paying quarterbacks $22,715,237, which works out to be 10.69% of the 49ers’ salary cap. This is the eighth-most in the NFL this season. By comparison, the Tennessee Titans are paying their QBs the most money, doling out $39.5 million to Ryan Tannehill, Malik Willis, and Logan Woodside.
Of that $22.7 million, $724K goes to the Brock Purdy contract, $92K goes to Jacob Eason, and $248K is for the newly-signed Josh Johnson.
The Jimmy Garoppolo contract pays out the most, with the veteran signal-caller making $13,991,176. While that’s a decent-sized number, it’s far better than the QB’s cap hit before his offseason restructuring. If the team had to pay him based on his 2018 five-year $137.5 million contract extension, his cap hit would have been $26.9 million this season.
As for the Trey Lance contract, it is a relatively standard deal for a top draft pick. After the 49ers picked him No. 3 overall, he signed a four-year, $34,105,275 deal with a $22,163,836 signing bonus and $34,105,275 guaranteed.
The next two seasons, when Lance comes back from his injury, he’ll have cap hits of $9.3 million (2023) and $10.85 million. The team will also have the choice to pick up his fifth-year option in 2025. That number will depend on the overall salary cap and his performance these next two seasons, but the number will likely be north of $20 million.
When Garoppolo renegotiated his deal, the 49ers put in a no-tag clause, so Jimmy G’s time in San Francisco is almost assuredly over after his season-ending injury. And as for Lance, the team is locked into his contract for the next two years, but not at high numbers for a QB.
All this means that if “Mr. Irrelvant” succeeds as the 49ers’ signal-caller this season and becomes the QB of the future, the Brock Purdy contract could become one of the best in all of football.