What 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo's knee injury means for his massive contract

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s season-ending knee injury last Sunday occurred less than three games into a massive contract extension that established him as one of the highest-paid players in NFL history.

Garoppolo suffered a non-contact injury to his left knee as he attempted to absorb a hit from Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Steven Nelson near the end of the 49ers’ 38-27 loss. Tests confirmed Monday that the 26-year-old quarterback tore his ACL, ending his season and setting up a lengthy rehab process, ESPN reported.

The 49ers signed Garoppolo last February to a five-year, $137.5 million contract that included a total of $74.1 million in injury guarantees over the life of the deal. While the knee injury in Week 3 effectively costs $650,000 in total roster bonuses for the remainder of the 2018 season, he will still net $41.35 million for the year, according to Spotrac.

"Any time you lose your starting quarterback, that's a big deal. It was when we lost our starting running back, too," 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said after Sunday’s loss. "Feel for him personally. I know how disappointed he is."

While NFL players regularly return to perform at a high level after ACL injuries, Garoppolo is protected even if he never takes another snap. He is guaranteed the entirety of his $17.2 million base salary for the 2019 season, as well as a further $15.7 million worth of his $28.3 million salary in 2020.

If the 49ers opted to release Garoppolo after the 2019 season, he will have earned $61.2 million, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who first reported the contract’s terms. He is set to earn an average of $27.5 million per season over the contract’s full five-year term, ranking fourth in NFL history.

Acquired by trade from the New England Patriots, Garoppolo led the 49ers for a 5-0 record as a starter during the 2017 season.