Jimmy Garoppolo is the NFL's highest-paid player, signing a five-year, $137.5 million contract with San Francisco yesterday. That works out to $27.5 million per year, the largest per-year deal in NFL history for at least another month (after which Kirk Cousins will sign a bigger deal, and guys like Drew Brees will probably make more for a year or two). A whole lot of coin for a guy with just seven career starts.

Most likely, there are some protections built into the deal for San Francisco. If Garoppolo happens to fall on his face, the team could likely get out of it with a far smaller cash outlay. But he was awfully impressive in his five starts for San Francisco down the stretch. The 49ers are clearly very comfortable with him as their starting quarterback going forward. If they're right, the way quarterback contracts are going, he could look like a bargain a couple of years from now.

Garoppolo threw only 7 TDs in his five starts last season. But he completed 67.4 percent of his passes, trailing only three quarterbacks (minimum of 1,000 passing yards). And he did that while pushing the ball downfield (rather than settling for safe, short completions). He was No. 1 in the entire league (among those 1,000-yard passers) in yards per attempt, at 8.8.

Jimmy Garoppolo, S.F.12017867.41,5608.87596.2
Deshaun Watson, Hou. 12620461.81,6998.3198103.0
Drew Brees, N.O.38653672.04,3348.1238103.9
Alex Smith, K.C.34150567.54,0428.0265104.7
Jared Goff, LAR29647762.13,8048.0287100.5
Tom Somebody, N.E.38558166.34,5777.9328102.8
Matthew Stafford, Det.37156565.74,4467.9291099.3
Jameis Winston, T.B.28244263.83,5047.9191192.2
Philip Rivers, LAC36057562.64,5157.9281096.0
Matt Ryan, Atl. 34252964.74,0957.7201291.4
Kirk Cousins, Wash.34754064.34,0937.6271393.9
Ben Roethlisberger, Pitt.36056164.24,2517.6281493.4
Carson Wentz, Phil. 26544060.23,2967.5337101.9
Case Keenum, Minn.32548167.63,5477.422798.3
Josh McCown, NYJ26739767.32,9267.418994.5
Carson Palmer, Ariz.16426761.41,9787.49784.4
Russell Wilson, Sea.33955361.33,9837.2341195.4
Marcus Mariota, Tenn. 28145362.03,2327.1131579.3
Aaron Rodgers, G.B.15423864.71,6757.016697.2
Blake Bortles, Jax.31552360.23,6877.0211384.7
Dak Prescott, Dall. 30849062.93,3246.8221386.6
Derek Carr, Oak. 32351562.73,4966.8221386.4
Ryan Fitzpatrick, T.B.9616358.91,1036.87386.0
Tyrod Taylor, Buff.26342062.62,7996.714489.2
Andy Dalton, Cin.29749659.93,3206.7251286.6
Cam Newton, Car.29149259.13,3026.7221680.7
Mitchell Trubisky, Chi.19633059.42,1936.67777.5
Jacoby Brissett, Ind. 27646958.83,0986.613781.7
Trevor Siemian, Den. 20634959.02,2856.5121473.3
Blaine Gabbert, Ariz.9517155.61,0866.46671.9
C.J. Beathard, S.F. 12322454.91,4306.44669.2
Tom Savage, Hou. 12522356.11,4126.35671.4
Brock Osweiler, Den. 9617255.81,0886.35572.5
Jay Cutler, Mia.26642962.02,6666.2191480.8
Eli Manning, NYG35257161.63,4686.1191380.4
DeShone Kizer, Clev.25547653.62,8946.1112260.5
Brett Hundley, G.B. 19231660.81,8365.891270.6
Joe Flacco, Balt.35254964.13,1415.7181380.4

Also interesting are some of the names at the opposite end of the spectrum. Included down there are acknowledged failures like Osweiler, Kizer and Hundley, and veterans who really struggled (Flacco and Manning). And also C.J. Beathard, who was operating in the same offense as Garoppolo.

It's not a given Garoppolo puts up big numbers for San Francisco next season. There are a lot of questions on the roster, including both receiver and running back. But a pretty impressive start to the youngster's career, making his contract -- while eye-opening -- not necessarily totally crazy.

--Andy Richardson