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49ers CEO Jed York bracing for Brock Purdy's eventual massive pay raise: 'It's a good problem to have'

The San Francisco 49ers benefit from starting quarterback Brock Purdy coming dirt cheap as a seventh-round pick. Niners CEO Jed York knows that luxury won't last much longer.

"It's a good problem when your quarterback is one of the highest-paid guys on your team and in the league," York told reporters Tuesday at the NFL's Annual League Meeting in Orlando, Fla., via the Bay Area News Group.

Purdy is set to count $1.004 million against the 49ers' salary cap in 2024, a comically low number for any quarterback, let alone a starter with playoff experience. For reference, Purdy will count less against the cap than Miami's Skylar Thompson, Buffalo's Shane Buechele, Las Vegas' Aidan O’Connell, Indy's Sam Ehlinger and New Orleans' Nathan Peterman. Niners backups Josh Dobbs ($2.25 million) and Brandon Allen ($2.02 million) will each make more than Purdy this season.

York understands that when Purdy is eligible for an extension next year, that number will skyrocket.

"It's what the market is. Brock is going to ask for something that no one has ever asked for before," York said without trepidation. "I don't know how many players are making over $40 million (annually) as a quarterback right now."

Currently, 12 quarterbacks make $40-plus million per year, nine make $43-plus million, and four are over the $50 million mark, with Joe Burrow's $55 million per year sitting atop the NFL.

York pointed to 2018, when the Niners inked Jimmy Garoppolo to a five-year, $137.5 million contract that made him the highest-paid player in the NFL to underscore that the club is not afraid of paying the position.

"When we signed Jimmy several years ago, it was the largest deal in the history of the NFL, for three minutes," York said. "But Jimmy was at ($27.5 million). That's what the market is, and you have to accept the reality of the world.

"To me, the quarterback is the most important position not just in football, but all of sports, and those guys should be paid a lot of money."

York doesn't shudder at the thought of writing a massive check for Purdy.

"There's a lot of planning that goes into it," he said. "I'm glad we have Paraag (Marathe), J.L. (John Lynch), Kyle (Shanahan). They're the ones that are going to figure out the details of it, and I just have to sign the check. My part in that is kind of easy."

The Niners have had the luxury of building their roster by spending next to nothing at quarterback. Barring a catastrophic turn of events, that luxury will likely end in the near future, which will make it more difficult for San Francisco to retain its top-end talent. That's part of the reason there is angst around Brandon Aiyuk's future with the club.

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