Jimmy Garoppolo may not be a Raider after all, depending on foot injury

Jimmy Garoppolo, Las Vegas Raiders (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo, Las Vegas Raiders (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract has a clause in it that creates plenty of trepidation for Las Vegas Raiders fans.

Sunday morning in late May, there’s got to be nothing going on in the NFL world, right?

Well, Mike Florio is digging deep and going line-by-line through player contracts. Normally, that might not produce anything of substance, but Florio obtained a copy of Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract with the Las Vegas Raiders, and there actually is something of substance in the clauses of the deal.

The clause, a waiver and release (not in the sense of a release of a player, but a legal waiver and release) was included to get Garoppolo to pass the team’s physical, which he did not pass by default due to his foot injury that he recently received surgery for.

Jimmy Garoppolo contract: What does it say?

Here’s the big part, as told by Florio:

"“In the second paragraph, Garoppolo expressly acknowledges and waives the risk of further injury, including potential “permanent disability” by continuing his career. “Player also understands that such condition has decreased his ability to play professional football,” the waiver states, “and that continuing to play professional football may result in deterioration, aggravation, or re-injury of the existing conditions rendering Player physically unable to perform the services that would be required of Player by an NFL Player Contract.””"

That’s a lot of weight of risk on Garoppolo that the team is not liable to assume anything for. Garoppolo later also waived his right to hold any claims against the Raiders or the league for anything related to this particular foot injury.

Finally, Florio explains that this all goes away if Garoppolo essentially is active for at least one game after passing a physical:

"“The waiver becomes null and void if at any time during the 2023 season, Garoppolo passes a physical exam, is active for at least one regular-season game, and does not suffer re-injury to his left foot in the manner described in Addendum G.”"

Will Jimmy Garoppolo play for the Raiders?

According to Florio’s read of the contract — which, for what it’s worth, Florio did go to law school — Garoppolo could be cut by the Raiders and his entire salary could go away with no reprecussions for Vegas (other than the fact that the QB they tied their cart to wouldn’t be on the roster anymore). He won’t see a dime until he:

  1. Passes a physical
  2. Is active for one game
  3. Does not reinjure his foot in said game

But as long as those three things happen, he’s in the clear.

It’s the strangest wording I’ve heard of in some time, and it actually puts a tremendous amount of pressure and concern on Garoppolo to come into the season healthy. There is $22.5 million on the line for him.

For now, Garoppolo is expected to play, but it all comes down to how he recovers from the surgery he recently underwent. 

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