Garoppolo was the 62nd overall pick in the 2014 Draft. If he never took a snap between now and then, his market value would presumably have dropped. He, like all second round picks, signed a four-year deal, with cap hits of $633,436 in 2014, $791,795 in 2015, $950,154 in 2016, and $1,108,513 in 2017. If Garoppolo turns into even a serviceable NFL quarterback, his salary cap hit will go up astronomically, and his next contract could be somewhere in the range of $15M to $20M per year against the cap. An enormous part of the value of a draft pick is the four cost-controlled seasons; with Garoppolo, three of those are already toast. So while you could argue that a quarterback who sat for three years would likely be a better player in year 4 than a rookie quarterback, Garoppolo’s market value would still drop — significantly, I think — by virtue of having him on a cheap one-year deal versus having a rookie on a cheap four-year deal.
But, as we know, Garoppolo has played since being drafted. And while he didn’t do much his first two seasons, throwing for 188 yards on 31 passes, Garoppolo averaged 8.59 ANY/A on 66 dropbacks last season. Anecdotally, too, it seems as though the league views him as a strong prospect, giving him a higher grade than they did three years ago when he slipped to the end of round two.
So that’s the question of the day: how do you valuable outstanding performance on 66 dropbacks against losing three years of a cost-controlled contract? Is Garoppolo worth more or less than the 62nd pick in the 2017 draft? And how much more or less? The rumor mill suggests that Garoppolo, if traded, will go for more than that — do you think that makes sense?
And, perhaps most importantly, how would you go about trying to answer that question? What research would you do if you were in charge of an NFL team?