The offseason has finally arrived for all 32 teams.
The top priority for the 49ers continues to be signing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a long-term contract extension. The club will certainly look to improve during free agency with the right kinds of players.
Here is this edition of 49ers Mailbag with questions submitted from Facebook:
Do you think the 49ers will be big players in free agency this offseason? (Jason Moody)
They certainly have the cap space to be as aggressive as they want to be in free agency.
But they also want to make sure they do not take any unnecessary risks to wind up in a bad financial situation in the future. If the team wins and some of their young players emerge into stars, they will want to be able to keep those players around.
As the 49ers plan for the future, they want to draft well and retain their good players on their second contracts.
In order for the 49ers go spend big money on a free agent, they’re going to have to feel good about that player fitting the team in three areas:
1. Financially: The player must fit into the salary structure of the team;
2. On the field: The coaching staff must have a specific role in mind for how that player fits the scheme;
3. Off the field: The 49ers need to continue to collect players who are the kind of people who set the proper tone in the locker room and practice field.
What are the odds the Niners pursue Butler to address the need for a CB? (Ajay Ferrari)
Ah, yes, Malcolm Butler.
He did not have a good season. And, he found himself in Bill Belichick’s doghouse and was benched for the Super Bowl.
I have no idea what to make of that situation, but you can be assured the 49ers will tap their contacts with the New England Patriots before determining whether they want to investigate the possibility of negotiating with Butler as a free agent.
Have you heard any rumors on length and dollar amount of Garoppolo's future contract? (James Clevenger)
There are no rumors for dollar amounts for the Jimmy Garoppolo contract talks. I have not even heard any confirmation if the sides are even as close as what was reported nationally over the weekend.
But it’s safe to assume the deal will be somewhere in the range of $25 million per season and around five years. You can take what Garoppolo would receive if he played the next two seasons on the franchise tag, which amounts to $50 million, and divide by two for the annual average. His deal is likely to land somewhere very close to the five-year, $125 million deal Derek Carr signed with the Raiders last year.
Do you expect the 49ers to begin preparing for a future without Joe Staley soon? (Jake Shmelder)
Staley believes he has some good seasons left in him. But this is definitely an offseason in which the 49ers must look at lining things up for the future at offensive tackle.
After all, Trent Brown is set to enter his contract year. And it’s anything but a certainty that he will be back with the 49ers in 2019.
The 49ers could look to address offensive tackle in this draft. It would make sense if the 49ers drafted a lineman to plug in as a starting guard for one season before transitioning him to tackle.