Look who just touched down in the Bay 👀 pic.twitter.com/bQrdcXAKXD— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) February 9, 2018
San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has just inked a five-year, $137.5 million deal, making him the highest paid player in the NFL.
Garoppolo’s new deal sparked quite a stir, considering he only has seven NFL starts to his name, as ESPN notes. However, in those few games Garopplo showed great promise as he took the team that was at 1-10 and led them to winning their last five games of the season.
"We want Jimmy to be a Niner for a long, long time," San Francisco general manager John Lynch said back in January. "That process is going to take place here. We're eager to get that done, to have the opportunity. ... You have our assurances, and the fans do, that we'd like nothing more than to make him a Niner for a long, long time."
Man on the left just became the highest paid player in NFL history. Man on the right is basically banned from the NFL.— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) February 8, 2018
It’s gross. The injustice of what the NFL has done to Colin Kaepernick is despicable.
Jimmy Garoppolo has started 7 games in 4 years. Here’s what he did. pic.twitter.com/Vn1UCZ6YZo
Colin Kaepernick has won 4 playoff games. Took his team the Super Bowl and nearly won. Then went deep into the playoffs again the following year. https://t.co/H8JH5XCgWw— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) February 8, 2018
Comparatively, the two athletes’ stats line up fairly closely. Yet, ironically, one of the main reasons NFL officials have cited for not hiring Kaepernick is the fact that he is, supposedly, not a particularly impressive player. However, the numbers from Kaepernick’s last five full games with the team compared to Garopplo’s five games, which earned him such great praise, suggest that sheer talent may not be the factor that separates these two athletes.
It is widely believed that Kaepernick is being blackballed by the league for his controversial national anthem protest that he started while still playing for the 49ers.
He sparked a movement throughout the NFL, prompting more players to join in. After his time with the 49ers was up, no team would hire him, which spiraled into a nationwide NFL boycott. Many Americans refused to watch or attend any games this past season until Kaepernick was back on the field.
The movement took another turn when President Donald Trump repeatedly made disparaging remarks about athletes who kneel during the “Star-Bangled Banner.” His insults made even more players, along with several coaches and owners, kneel in solidarity as a symbolic middle finger to Trump.
In turn, Trump supporters launched an NFL boycott of their own in which they refused to watch and attend games until all players were forced to stand.
All of this turmoil started with the actions of one man: Kaepernick.
It’s been clear all along that the league has tossed Kaepernick aside because of his activism and the negative impact it has had on the NFL, but Garoppolo’s new deal just makes it even more apparent.
In fact, it’s a blatant slap in the face to Kaepernick, who led his team to a Super Bowl and has two NFC Championships under his belt.
Colin Kaepernick’s career passer rating is 89.9. To put that into perspective that’s higher than:— LEFT®️ (@LeftSentThis) February 9, 2018
Yet he can’t play? 👌🏾#Collusion https://t.co/gw5RJJTFeG
While Garoppolo may be a very talented player and should enjoy the success he’s seeing, the disparity simply cannot be ignored.
Has Garoppolo proven to be an asset to the team? Sure. But does he deserve to be the highest paid player in the NFL while Kaepernick remains jobless? That is yet to be determined, but it currently appears that the answer is no.
Colin Kaepernick Image Credit: Reuters/Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Jimmy Garoppolo Image Credit: Reuters/Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports