49ers

Does Lynch see Garoppolo as 49ers franchise QB? 'We’re huge believers in...'

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USATSI

Does Lynch see Garoppolo as 49ers franchise QB? 'We’re huge believers in...'

The 49ers acquired quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from the Patriots for a 2018 second-round draft pick on Oct. 30. Presumably, the 49ers locked up their quarterback of the future. 

But, that's a big assumption. Garoppolo has only started two games in his career and is set to become a free agent after this season. 

“Number one, we’re huge believers in Jimmy Garoppolo and his ability to be a franchise quarterback," 49ers GM John Lynch said Friday on the Murph & Mac Show. "So much so that we inquired throughout this last offseason, and were quickly shut down by Bill Belichick, but we did inquire to his availability."

While Lynch didn't state that the 49ers will lock up Garoppolo to a long-term deal, he's clearly impressed with the signal caller who just turned 26 years old. 

"I think what’s clear and what needs to be communicated to our fan base is we have great belief and that’s only been strengthened in his week that he’s been here,” Lynch said.

Garoppolo, drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 225 pounds. In six games last season where he took the field, Garoppolo threw for 502 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. 

"He hasn’t played a ton of football, we’re fully aware of that, but we feel, and I think a lot of people throughout this league feel, like we got a tremendous deal on a guy that has all the makings of a franchise quarterback," Lynch said. "We’re thrilled to have him and that’s what Jimmy Garoppolo is to us."

Jed York says 49ers abstained from NFL anthem vote

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AP

Jed York says 49ers abstained from NFL anthem vote

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday the vote was unanimous among all 32 teams in the league.

But San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York told reporters at the NFL owners meetings that the policy to prohibit players from any form of protest during the national anthem did not include his support.

The new NFL policy regarding the national anthem states::

--All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag the Anthem.

--Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room or in a similar location off the field until after the Anthem has been performed.

--A club will be fined by the League if its personnel are on the field and do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.

--Each club may develop its own work rules, consistent with the above principles, regarding its personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.

--The Commissioner will impose appropriate discipline on league personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem.

“All 32 clubs want to make sure that during the moment of the anthem and the flag that that is a very important moment to all of us, as a league, as clubs, personally to our country,” Goodell said at a press conference in Atlanta. “And that’s a moment we want to make sure is done in a very respectful fashion.”

But York told a group of reporters the 49ers abstained from the vote. Terez Paylor of Yahoo! Sports was first to report York’s revelation. York has publicly supported the rights of 49ers players to exercise their First Amendment rights to protest peacefully.

“I think there are a lot of reasons, and I’m not going to get into all of those reasons. But I think the gist of it is really that we want to make sure that everything that we’re doing is to promote progress. And I think we’ve done a good piece of that so far,” York said, as reported by Kevin Seifert of ESPN.

The 49ers have been at the center of the movement to protest racial inequality and police brutality. Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid began kneeling at the start of the 2016 season. Kaepernick did not play in the league last year, but Reid continued kneeling, along with teammates Eli Harold, Marquise Goodwin and others. Reid has remained unsigned as an unrestricted free agent.

The NFL Players Association fired back at the NFL policy, stating the players have demonstrated their patriotism, in part, "through their protests to raise awareness about the issues they care about."

McKinnon followed Garoppolo's lead to 49ers: 'He’s a true leader, you can't teach that'

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AP

McKinnon followed Garoppolo's lead to 49ers: 'He’s a true leader, you can't teach that'

SANTA CLARA -- Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo caught the attention of running back Jerick McKinnon long before they became teammates with the 49ers.

And when McKinnon was available as a free agent this offseason, Garoppolo helped sell him on the idea of moving to the Bay Area.

And now that they have been in the same building for a month-and-a-half during the 49ers’ offseason program, McKinnon feels better and better about his new NFL address.

“It’s not always about the money, like people say,” McKinnon said on The 49ers Insider Podcast. “For me, it’s about the scheme. And I felt like this was probably the best fit that I could possibly think of.”

Before signing a four-year, $30 million contract, McKinnon spoke to Garoppolo and 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk and asked questions about the organization, the coaching staff and Bay Area.

“Talking to those guys and coming here, being blessed with the contract, obviously, it’s just a good fit,” McKinnon said. “Since I got here, it’s been nothing but love. I feel like this team is family oriented. And I can feel that when I first got here. It reminded me of a lot of the things that went on in Minnesota. That’s how I know there’s something special going on here.”

McKinnon was mostly the No. 2 back behind Adrian Peterson and Latavius Murray during his four seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. He said he knew he would not be returning to the Vikings as a free agent. And he used his knowledge of happenings around the NFL to help figure out his next move. Out of all the options at running back available to him, including Carlos Hyde, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan targeted McKinnon.

And McKinnon targeted the 49ers, too.

He said he took note of Garoppolo during his time as a backup in New England. Both were in the 2014 draft. Garoppolo was a second-round pick from Eastern Illinois. McKinnon was a third-round selection from Georgia Southern.

“That dude right there is sharp,” McKinnon said of Garoppolo. “We came out the same year. I watched him behind Brady, and when he got his chance to play and how he did, I was like, ‘When this guy gets his time, he’s going to be ready – there’s no doubt.’ He’s playing behind Tom Brady, one of the best. Tom Brady’s got five rings. So he got to learn from the best on a daily basis.

"I saw the trade was made last year. ‘OK, he’s going to be something special.’ And when he got hit chance, he didn’t lose a game, they didn’t lose a game. . . I watched them last year toward the end of the season when they started winning. I was like, ‘Those guys over there have something contagious going on.’ ”

Garoppolo signed a five-year, $137.5 million contract extension with the 49ers prior to the start of free agency. He led the way, and McKinnon followed.

“Coming here and getting to meet him in person and see how he prepares and how he leads in the huddle and on the field, he’s a true leader,” McKinnon said. “You can’t teach that.”