Matt Maiocco

What it will take for 49ers to sign Jimmy Garoppolo to a long-term deal

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AP

What it will take for 49ers to sign Jimmy Garoppolo to a long-term deal

The 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo face two deadlines this offseason to reach an agreement on a long-term contract extension.

The first deadline is March 6. That is the last day on which teams can apply the franchise tag for the 2018 season. If Garoppolo remains unsigned on March 6, the 49ers will tag him as their franchise player, which – in essence – locks him in to a one-year deal worth $23.3 million, former NFL agent Joel Corry estimates.

The second deadline is July 16. That is the deadline for any club that designates a franchise player to reach a multi-year deal. After that date, the player may sign only a one-year deal until after the club’s final regular-season game.

The 49ers and Garoppolo’s agent, Don Yee, have kept conversations and negotiations private. And that is the way the 49ers plan to conduct business this offseason.

“One thing that we really believe is that those things should take place between us and his representatives and not occur and transpire in the public,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said. “That’s the way we’re going to treat that. You have our assurances, and the fans do, that we’d like nothing more than to make him a Niner for a long, long time.”

Two seasons of one-year franchise tags would provide Garoppolo with approximately $51 million. (Garoppolo made $3.5 million total in his first four NFL seasons.)

Garoppolo could also decide to play a season on a one-year deal in hopes of increasing his value far beyond what he would be likely to warrant now – after just seven NFL starts in four seasons. Because if he establishes himself as a top quarterback next season with the 49ers, any deal he signed this offseason would be considered a bargain for the team.

“That’s the nature of the beast with the quarterback market,” Corry said on the 49ers Insider Podcast. “If you sign a long-term deal, today’s deal is outdated tomorrow.

Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford is the highest-paid player in the NFL with a deal that averages $27 million a season. 

"He won’t be by the time the 2018 regular season rolls around," said Corry, whose work can be found at CBS Sports.

Corry points out that Stafford's agent, Tom Condon, also represents Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan, who is scheduled to enter the final year of his contract.

"That’s Ryan’s floor," Corry said of Stafford's contract. "(Green Bay's) Aaron Rodgers is probably going to get a new deal. He’ll trump everybody. And if (Kirk) Cousins signs a long-term deal, he’ll be above Stafford, as well.”

Corry said he expects Garoppolo to sign a contract similar to the five-year, $125 million deal the Raiders worked out with quarterback Derek Carr last offseason.

"I think it’s going to be something close to that Derek Carr neighborhood," Corry said. "Maybe a shade under, but I think it’ll be in that general vicinity.”

Drafted by Baalke with injury, former 49ers WR signs with Colts

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USATSI

Drafted by Baalke with injury, former 49ers WR signs with Colts

The 49ers recently re-signed eight of the 10 players who finished the season on the team’s practice squad.

Wide receiver DeAndre Smelter, who was not among the first wave of 49ers signings to 2018 contracts, signed Wednesday with the Indianapolis Colts, ending his three-season association with the organization.

Smelter was one of general manager Trent Baalke’s redshirt draft picks. The team selected him in the fourth round of the 2015 draft despite a torn ACL that ended his final season at Georgia Tech.

Smelter spent his first season on an injured list. He was waived at the beginning of the past two seasons, finishing both years on the 49ers’ practice squad. Smelter appeared in two games in 2016 and caught one pass for 23 yards.

Last season, the 49ers signed wide receivers Louis Murphy and Max McCaffrey to spots on the 53-man roster instead of Smelter, who remained on the practice squad.

Wide receiver DeAndre Carter, who also spent the entire season on the practice squad, was signed recently to the team’s 90-man roster.

Others who finished the season on the 49ers practice squad to remain on the team’s offseason roster are: quarterback Nick Mullens, tight end Cole Wick, offensive linemen Andrew Lauderdale and Pace Murphy, linebacker Boseko Lokombo, and defensive backs Trovon Reed and Channing Stribling.

The 49ers also signed fullback Malcolm Johnson, who spent last season on injured reserve with the Seattle Seahawks. Johnson appeared in 19 games over the 2015 and ’16 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He was a sixth-round draft pick in ’15.

Offensive linemen Cameron Hunt, who finished the season on the 49ers’ practice squad, remains unsigned. Guard JP Flynn is also unsigned. He sustained a torn patellar tendon in November and underwent surgery that was expected to keep him out up to nine months.

An intriguing dynamic of Garoppolo's contract negotiations

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USATSI

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.