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Price for top-tier NFL quarterbacks skyrockets with Jimmy Garoppolo deal

With Jimmy G’s extension, can the Bills afford a Kirk Cousins?

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Early Thursday afternoon, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo agreed to a 5-year, $137.5 million contract extension with the club. Garoppolo has played well in his seven career starts, especially in 2017. Garoppolo looked like a franchise quarterback this year, salvaging a dismal season in San Francisco and putting them on course for the future.

The question whether Garoppolo deserves that money can be debated for hours and days and months. However, the fact that he got that money dictates what the rest of the NFL will pay to get a franchise quarterback.

Before the biggest contract in NFL history was signed Thursday, people expected Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins to get paid big-time this offseason. Thanks to Jimmy G and the 49ers, I think his pay-day just got bigger.

If the Buffalo Bills were to seriously consider going after Cousins this offseason, they’ll have to break out the checkbooks. With the roster currently as it is, Buffalo has about $28.8 million in cap space heading into the new league year. Assuming the Bills trade away quarterback Tyrod Taylor, that would bring the total cap space to $39.2 million.

Garaoppolo’s contract reportedly guarantee's him $90 million in the first three years of the deal. If the Bills would want to match or go above something like that for Cousins, Buffalo would need to shed even more cap space to even have a realistic offer to give him.

If Buffalo wants Cousins, don’t be surprised to see some more surprise moves coming from McDermott and Beane heading into the 2018 season.