SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Jimmy Garoppolo signed a record-breaking, five-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday that will pay him a reported $137.5 million to keep him off the free-agent market next month without forcing the team to use the one-year franchise tag.
NFL Network first reported the terms of the contract, which is worth $27.5 million per season to top the previous record set by Detroit's Matthew Stafford last year by $500,000 per year.
San Francisco acquired Garoppolo from New England before the trade deadline for a 2018 second-round pick. As soon as he took the field a few weeks later, he immediately turned around a franchise that started the year with a 1-10 record.
Garoppolo took over as starter and led San Francisco to five straight wins to end the season. That solidified the organization's belief in him and the willingness to offer him the largest average per year contract in NFL history.
While Garoppolo lacks the track record of the top quarterbacks in the NFL after spending most of his career as Tom Brady's backup with New England, what he has shown when he has gotten on the field has been impressive.
He completed 67.4 percent of his passes this season, averaging 8.8 yards per attempt with seven TDs, five interceptions and a 96.2 rating. Among quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts last season, Garoppolo ranked first in yards per attempt, fourth in completion percentage. His 308.4 yards passing per game in his five starts also would have led the league had he played a full season.
Garoppolo has won all seven starts in his career, including two in New England to start the 2016 season when Brady was suspended for his role in "Deflategate."
NEW YORK (AP) - The baseball players' union will open its own spring training camp for the first time since the end of the 1994-95 strike, inviting free agents to work out at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
Union head Tony Clark said Thursday the camp will open Tuesday and workouts will start the following day under Bo Porter, the Houston Astros' manager in 2013-14. The camp is scheduled to run through March 4, and the union has the option to extend the camp through the end of the month.
More than 100 players who exercised their right to become free agents last November are without final agreements. Teams start spring training workouts next Wednesday.
AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) - With Scott Dixon at the wheel, the prototype for a windscreen to help protect IndyCar drivers from flying debris passed its first on-track test, a big step toward requiring such devices, perhaps as early as next year.
"I think it's definitely a milestone as far as moving forward and moving in the right direction for some more safety initiatives, and we all know the reasons why," the four-time IndyCar series champion said.
The only real problem for Dixon was the lack of air flow made things quite warm.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) - Kevin Streelman and PGA Tour rookie Beau Hossler each had a 7-under 65 on different golf courses in the same splendid weather and shared the lead after one round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Dustin Johnson shot a 67 at Spyglass Hill without any stress Thursday, not that he ever shows any. Rory McIlroy made his tournament debut with a scrappy finish to salvage a 68. McIlroy played alongside Phil Mickelson, who shot 31 on the back nine at Spyglass for a 69.
Warm, sun and virtually no wind made the Monterey Peninsula feel even more idyllic than it already is, and the scoring conditions were perfect. Among those who couldn't take advantage was defending champion Jordan Spieth. He made one birdie, one bogey and 16 pars at Spyglass.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Golden State forward Draymond Green was fined $50,000 by the NBA on Thursday for directing inappropriate and offensive language toward a game official two days earlier, and he was hardly the only member of the Warriors to lose his cool.