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Relax, The Pierre Garcon Contract Is Not That Bad

Former Washington wide receiver Pierre Garcon will reunite with his former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco in 2017. After initially debuting with just speculative numbers, it was revealed the contract is a five-year deal worth approximately $47.5 million dollars. While many believe the 49ers were fleeced by this deal, the issue is being vastly overstated

On the surface, the deal appears far worse than it really is. According to Over The Cap, Garcon will earn $47.5 million dollars over five years with $17 million guaranteed at signing. The front-loaded nature of the contract makes it appear a huge overpay on the surface, but if you average out the value over the first three years, Garcon earns approximately $10.46 million per season.

How does this compare to his deal in Washington? It’s not that far off from his previous earnings

Year RangeAge RangeContractAverage SalarySigning BonusGuaranteed
2012-201625-295 yr $42,500,000$8,500,000$11,000,000$20,500,000
2017-202230-355 yr $47,500,000$9,500,000$17,000,000$17,000,000

Of course there are differences. Signing a 30-year-old wide receiver to a fairly lengthy deal is generally not good practice. However, to sign a capable wide receiver to a similarly priced contract when the salary cap is approximately $20 million dollars higher isn’t bad. Additionally, players signing with a bottom tier franchise like San Francisco may require a higher salary since most players would rather sign with competitive franchises.

The salary cap increased from $155.27 million in 2016 to $167 million in 2017, an approximately seven percent increase. Since 2013, the salary cap has increased by ten million dollars or more every year, and this trend appears likely to continue on into the future. At the moment of writing this, Garcon will have the 19th highest yearly salary average at the wide receiver position.


San Francisco possessed roughly $76 million in cap room going into free agency this year. With an extreme lack of talent, the organization had to go out and acquire talent by any means necessary. For a franchise to land a wide receiver that went over 1,000 receiving yards twice in the past five years on a similar contract to the one he had previously is a favorable signing for the team overall.

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