49ers envision Jimmy Garoppolo as 'QB of the future' even as free agency looms

49ers envision Jimmy Garoppolo as 'QB of the future' even as free agency looms

SANTA CLARA – Discussion about the possibility of a long-term contract was not a top priority for Jimmy Garoppolo on Tuesday upon his arrival at 49ers headquarters.

"I just got off the plane like an hour ago,” he said. “I haven’t even thought about that, to be honest.”

Garoppolo spent time with 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan before the 2014 draft when Shanahan was the offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns. Despite placing a high grade on Garoppolo and Derek Carr, the Browns ended up drafting Johnny Manziel before both of them.

Garoppolo on Tuesday met general manager John Lynch and CEO Jed York for the first time. Although it appears Garoppolo wants to be the 49ers’ franchise quarterback as much as the 49ers want that from him, there is no reason to rush it before he has even stepped on a practice field with his new team.

The 49ers can sign him to a contract extension before the start of free agency. Or, the 49ers could place the franchise tag on him to retain his rights for at least another season.

“We brought him here because we want him to be the quarterback of the future,” Shanahan said.

Less than 24 hours earlier, Garoppolo received a call from Patriots coach Bill Belichick to inform him of the deal that sent him to the 49ers for a second-round draft pick.

“When I first found out, I can’t even describe how excited I was,” said Garoppolo, who turns 26 on Thursday. “My time in New England was great. I thank them for everything, but coming to such a great organization, it really is a privilege. I’m excited about it. It’s going to be a good thing.”

Lynch and Shanahan spent plenty of time together last offseason discussing and formulating a plan of attack for the quarterback position. Lynch suggested a call was placed to New England last offseason to gauge whether Garoppolo available. The Patriots quickly expressed no interest in pursuing a trade of Garoppolo.

But with the trade deadline approaching on Tuesday, this time was different with Garoppolo's free agency looming after the season. The 49ers had to make a decision whether to send the Patriots a draft pick or wait until free agency and attempt to sign him without spending any draft capital.

“Second-round picks are very valuable in this league, especially where we are as an organization,” Lynch said. “And, so, this is the guy we wanted. And we were willing to give what we thought was a very valuable commodity in exchange for him.

“We thought about if for about 10 minutes and said, ‘This is too good of an opportunity to not take advantage of.’ So we jumped at it.”


An intriguing dynamic of Garoppolo's contract negotiations


An intriguing dynamic of Garoppolo's contract negotiations

If the 49ers and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo are unable to reach a multi-year contract extension by March 6, the 49ers have no other choice but to designate him as their franchise player.

The estimated one-year salary for the franchise tag would be $23.307 million, according to former NFL agent Joel Corry, whose work now appears at CBS Sports. (That is assuming a 2018 league-wide salary cap of $178.1 million per team.)

There is a lot to consider for both sides as they look to enter into a long-term contract. Corry said if a deal is struck, he would expect it to be in the neighborhood of Derek Carr’s five-year, $125 million deal he signed with the Raiders last offseason.

“And then there’s the other dynamic, which I would not undersell or I think may not be appreciated as much as it should be,” Corry said on the 49ers Insider Podcast. “(Garoppolo’s agent) Don Yee has a reputation – no fault of his own – of doing team-friendly deals.”

Yee also represents New England quarterback Tom Brady, whose average of $20.5 million annual pay ranks 15th among NFL quarterbacks. Brady is underpaid by design, Corry said, because one of the great quarterbacks of all-time realizes it helps the Patriots to maintain a strong supporting cast.

“That’s because Tom Brady dictates, ‘I want to do something good for the team, take less money so we can improve the roster to win Super Bowls.’ That’s not Don Yee who wants to do that,” Corry said.

“The agent works for the player, so he’s executing Tom Brady’s wishes. But he gets that held against him in recruiting. So this is his opportunity to erase that perception if Garoppolo allows him to do his job and gives him latitude to strike the deal that he feels is appropriate.”

For more on the potential negotiating strategies of both sides, listen here to the 49ers Insider Podcast.

49ers linebacker Foster named to NFL All-Rookie team


49ers linebacker Foster named to NFL All-Rookie team

Linebacker Reuben Foster was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team in voting conducted by the Professional Football Writers of America.

Foster started all 10 games in which he appeared for the 49ers after being selected with the No. 31 overall pick out of Alabama. Foster finished second on the 49ers with 72 tackles. He had seven tackles for loss, ranking No. 2 on the team behind rookie defensive lineman Solomon Thomas.

Foster was one of three linebackers selected as an all-rookie performer. Thomas, the No. 3 overall draft pick, was not among the four defensive linemen honored.

[MAIOCCO: Ex-agent says Reuben Foster's arrest could void salary guarantees]

Foster was selected as the winner of the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for November. He missed five games early in the season with a high ankle sprain and another game with a ribs injury.

The NFL’s top defensive rookie was New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who recorded five interceptions and scored a touchdown while making 13 starts.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: RB Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs
CO-OFFENSIVE ROOKIES OF THE YEAR: RB Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs and RB Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
DEFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: CB Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans Saints

QB – Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
RB – Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs; Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
WR – Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams; Juju Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers
TE – Evan Engram, New York Giants
C – Pat Elflein, Minnesota Vikings
G – Dan Feeney, Los Angeles Chargers; Jermaine Eluemunor, Baltimore Ravens, and Ethan Pocic, Seattle Seahawks (tie)
T – Garett Bolles, Denver Broncos; Ryan Ramczyk, New Orleans Saints

DL – Derek Barnett, Philadelphia Eagles; Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns; Carl Lawson, Cincinnati Bengals; Dalvin Tomlinson, New York Giants
LB – Jarrad Davis, Detroit Lions; Reuben Foster, San Francisco 49ers; T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers
CB – Marshon Lattimore, New Orleans Saints; Tre'Davious White, Buffalo Bills
S – Jamal Adams, New York Jets; Marcus Williams, New Orleans Saints

Special Teams
PK – Harrison Butker, Kansas City Chiefs
P – Rigoberto Sanchez, Indianapolis Colts
KR – Ryan Switzer, Dallas Cowboys
PR – Jamal Agnew, Detroit Lions
ST – Budda Baker, Arizona Cardinals