The Niners can get out of Jimmy G’s big contract quicker than you may think

49ers could cut Garoppolo in 2020 and have just $4.2 million in dead cap money

DENVER, CO – AUGUST 19: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers sets to run the offense against the Denver Broncos in the first quarter during a preseason National Football League game at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on August 19, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
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It’s preseason: The best time to overreact to small-sample-size football.

Jimmy Garoppolo had a bad Monday night in Denver.

The 49ers’ prized quarterback completed just one of six pass attempts in his first game back from tearing his ACL last September. His one completion was for zero yards. Another pass was intercepted.

This comes less than a week after he saw five consecutive passes intercepted in 49ers practice.

The 27-year-old Garoppolo is just working his way back from a major injury, and the Niners are going to give this guy every opportunity to make it work this season — they shelled out a second-round pick for him in 2017 and his hot streak at the end of that season justified it.

Garoppolo’s five-year, $137.5 million contract extension showed the faith he’d earned from the Niners. But that faith only extended so far.

If this season really goes south for Jimmy G, the Niners can cut Garoppolo and his huge contract just two years in and leave only $4.2 million in “dead money” on their cap sheet, according to Spotrac.

The 49ers’ brass showered Garoppolo with cash, but they also knew his success was a small sample. Like most NFL contracts, the big-money figures far outweigh the also large, but much smaller actual guarantees.

Certainly the Niners would love for Garoppolo to light up the league this year, lead them to the playoffs and justify his big-time contract.

But if he does the opposite, Nick Mullens showed after Garoppolo’s unfortunate ACL tear last year that they may have a viable (if not star-quality) 2020 option already on the roster.

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