John Lynch

John Lynch wants to keep Jimmy Garoppolo with 49ers for 'long, long time'

John Lynch wants to keep Jimmy Garoppolo with 49ers for 'long, long time'

SANTA CLARA – General manager John Lynch made no promises about executing a long-term contract with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

But Lynch made it clear on Tuesday that securing Garoppolo to a multi-year contract is at the top of his priority list for the offseason.

“We want Jimmy to be a Niner for a long, long time,” Lynch said at a season-ending press conference at Levi’s Stadium. “And that process is going to take place here and we’re eager to get that done – to have the opportunity. But one thing we believe, those things should take place between us and his representatives and not occur and transpire in the public. That’s the way we’re going to treat that.

“But 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.”

Lynch said he has spoken to Garoppolo about his desires and feels good about his quarterback’s openness to sign a long-term contract.

“We’ve had conversations with him and we know where he stands and we’re comfortable with that,” Lynch said.

If the 49ers fail to reach a long-term contract with Garoppolo by March 6, the team would designate him as their franchise player to retain his rights for the 2018 season on a one-year deal worth in excess of $22 million.

Lynch explains why he's not thrilled about idea of 49ers on 'Hard Knocks'

lynch-angry-usatsi.jpg
USATSI

Lynch explains why he's not thrilled about idea of 49ers on 'Hard Knocks'

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers are one of just six teams eligible to be the featured team on “Hard Knocks” during training camp.

The NFL has never had to force a team to participate. And that is what they would have to do with the 49ers. The team has informed the league they do not want to participate on the behind-the-scenes show that appears every summer on HBO.

General manager John Lynch on Tuesday said he likes to watch the show but does not like the idea of his team taking part in the series.

“It’s not something we would be really excited about,” Lynch said. “I love the show, but I think some thing are best left behind closed doors. I fundamentally have a problem with cutting players and things of that nature (on camera). It’s not something we’d be thrilled about.”

Denver, Cleveland, the Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore and Washington are other teams that are non-exempt from the series, but any other team can volunteer to participate.

49ers GM Lynch: Colbert shows characteristics of 'big-time starter'

colbert-ap.jpg
AP

49ers GM Lynch: Colbert shows characteristics of 'big-time starter'

SANTA CLARA -- Just hours before John Lynch was announced as a Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalist for the sixth time, he spoke glowingly about a young, promising safety.

Lynch was a nine-time Pro Bowl performer during his 15-year career. In his role as 49ers general manager, he saw a lot that he liked from seventh-round draft pick Adrian Colbert two weeks ago against the New York Giants.

Colbert, making his first career start, sustained a broken thumb early in the game. He still played every snap on defense, recorded four tackles and showed his range in the deep middle to break up two passes.

“That was a really, really good football game and he displayed some things in that game that are characteristics of a starter and a big-time starter,” Lynch said during a 45-minute session with reporters on Tuesday at Levi's Stadium.

The 49ers picked up the fifth-year option on free safety Jimmie Ward, whom they appear to view as their starter for next season. But Colbert has a chance to figure prominently in their future, too.

“If he plays like he did last week, you consider a lot of things,” Lynch said.

Here are other things you need to know from what Lynch said on Tuesday:

SOLOMON THOMAS ON TRACK
The 49ers invested the No. 3 overall pick on Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas. He appeared in eight games, with six starts, before missing the past two games with an MCL sprain.

Thomas has not been spectacular, recording 26 tackles and two sacks. But Lynch said he is pleased with Thomas’ development.

“I think some people are saying, 'The No. 3 pick, maybe perhaps should be a little more dynamic.' But his play has been solid," Lynch said. "We knew it would be a process. He's a young kid that I think, physically, he's going to grow in stature."

BODY MAKEOVER FOR JOSHUA GARNETT
Guard Joshua Garnett, a first-round pick of the 49ers in 2016, did not distinguish himself during the offseason program or early in training camp. Then, he sustained a knee injury with a lengthy timetable for recovery.

His timetable would have enabled him to play this season. But the 49ers opted to take “the long-term view” and place him on season-ending injured reserve to put him in a better position to realize his potential upon his return.

But, first, that means Garnett had to change his body composition. Lynch said he challenged Garnett and the team’s strength and conditioning staff to put in the work to make Garnett stronger, more agile and in better condition to succeed in the 49ers’ zone-blocking scheme.

“We certainly hope he responds,” Lynch said.

CONTRACT TALKS ONGOING
Whether it’s Jimmy Garoppolo, Carlos Hyde, Dontae Johnson, Eric Reid, Daniel Kilgore, Aaron Lynch or others, the 49ers have been active in discussing the possibilities of contract extensions.

John Lynch declined to speak about which specific players the organization is trying to extend beyond this season – only to say there are ongoing talks.

“I will tell you there are players we’re talking to their representatives, but I’m going to get into who, when, why,” Lynch said.

BOOKEND TACKLES PART OF THE PLAN
The 49ers are allowed to enter into extension talks with Trent Brown after this season. Whether they are able to work out a long-term contract remains to be seen, but Lynch made no secret he hopes he can keep the tackles together into the future.

Left tackle Joe Staley, 33, appears to have at least a couple more season in him. He scored some big points with the organization with his willingness to return to action just two weeks after sustaining a broken eye socket.

“We love Joe Staley -- love the way he plays, think he’s a really good scheme fit for the offense we play,” Lynch said.

Lynch said he likes the idea of keeping Staley and Brown together for the foreseeable future.

“We feel there are a lot of places where we need to improve,” Lynch said. “And you’re always trying to improve, but those two guys are cornerstones for the next couple, few years.”

ARMSTEAD HAS 'BRIGHT FUTURE'
Defensive lineman Arik Armstead has not produced like a first-round draft pick. And the next time he takes the field for the 49ers, he will be entering his contract year.

Questioning Armstead’s fit for the 49ers’ defensive scheme is reasonable. But Lynch said he believes Armstead has a place with the organization.

“We’re real pleased,” Lynch said. “We think he’s a fit with what we are and who we are, going forward. We think he has a bright future with us.”

Armstead had his best game this season against Washington, a game in which he sustained a broken hand and required season-ending surgery.

“He put it all together,” Lynch said. “It was very encouraging and, at the same time, disappointing.”

ORGANIZATION STUDIES RASH OF INJURIES
The 49ers have 18 players on injured reserve with a variety of physical conditions that knocked them out of action from broken bones to torn ligaments and tendons.

“Some of those things are freak, but, yes, there has been an alarming amount,” Lynch said. “We’re going to study everything. That was part of what I was charged to do, evaluate every facet of the football part of this organization.”

There do not appear to be any obvious answers. Many teams around the league are also experiencing a rash of injuries to star players. On defense, the 49ers lost Armstread (broken hand), linebacker Malcolm Smith (torn pectoral tendon), and safeties Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt (broken forearms) for the season.

“Some of it, broken forearms from two safeties and a broken thumb from a safety, I don’t know what the answer is there,” Lynch said.

“We’re going to take a deep dive – we already are – into why and if there are any common threads. We’re studying it hard.”