Updated May 28, 2023 - 12:16 pm
The Raiders are optimistic quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will be ready for the season, but his contract has been revised to protect them if he’s not.
Garoppolo is being held out of organized team activities after suffering a left foot injury last season with the 49ers and undergoing minor surgery after he signed with the Raiders in March.
Included in the revised contract is a scenario in which the Raiders can walk away from Garoppolo without paying him a penny before the start of the season. The language was added to the three-year, $72,750,000 contract he signed after a daylong delay to address the foot injury that left him unable to pass a physical at the time.
The revision was uncovered by Pro Football Talk, which obtained a copy of Garoppolo’s contract. The five-paragraph amendment, which includes a waiver, essentially absolves the Raiders of any contractual obligation if Garoppolo can’t pass a physical before the season.
It also acknowledges that Garoppolo assumes all risk of further injury to the foot and any risk of continuing to play with the condition, including permanent damage. He also waives all claims against the Raiders or the NFL or anyone else who might be responsible for anything related to his condition.
The attached waiver becomes null and void if Garoppolo passes a physical at any point in the season, plays at least one game, or does not reinjure his left foot in a manner articulated in the amendment.
As part of the revised deal, Garoppolo agreed to turn the $11.25 million signing bonus he was originally due at the time of signing into pure salary. The new 2023 salary figure is $22.5 million, but it only comes due if he passes the physical.
The Raiders, who began Phase 3 of their offseason program last week, did not respond to a request for comment.
A league source said the language is “typical for an athlete that has had past injuries that have the chance of needing long-term care,” and shows that the club, athlete and agent acknowledge Garoppolo had a previous injury that was “serious enough to warrant the clause” as there is a general understanding “he could reinjure it.”
Another league source said that while this is typical language for an injury waiver, it’s unusual in a deal the size of Garoppolo’s. The source also indicated that most high-profile free agents would not sign a deal of this nature, but that Garoppolo “must not feel it’s an issue” considering “he took all of the risk.”
Garoppolo was signed to replace longtime starter Derek Carr, who was released after the season.