Coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch arrived together with the 49ers under six-year contracts.

The length of those contracts suggests the two top football people atop the organization will be afforded plenty of time to turn the 49ers around.

And Shanahan said Friday morning he and Lynch plan to exercise patience in charting the future at the quarterback position.

“You’re not trying to commit everything to one year,” Shanahan said on KNBR’s “Murph and Mac Show.”

“Yes, you want to win right away. That’s the goal of everybody. But you don’t want to do that at the expense of hurting your future. You don’t want to gamble. You want to be aggressive in everything, but you got to do what’s right. You have to build your team the right way and that’s what I mean by being patient.”

Shanahan added, “If we can build this the right way, it could be right away. It could be in this first year. It could be in the second year. But that depends on what’s available. And what’s available is through trades, it’s through free agency and it’s through the draft. And we’ll explore all three of those.”

The 49ers own the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. But seven weeks before the 49ers have the opportunity to add players through the draft, the start of the new league year on March 9 marks the beginning of free-agent signings and trades.


Quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Kirk Cousins are among the veteran starters who could become available early in the offseason. Regardless of which veterans the 49ers acquire before the draft, Shanahan said the team will not lock into selecting a quarterback early in the draft.

“If there is a quarterback there that we believe can match that criteria and we believe he can be a franchise quarterback for us, of course, you don’t hesitate on that,” Shanahan said. “But if you don’t see that and there are other good players – if there’s a pass-rusher, a linebacker, if there’s an O-lineman, whatever it is – you need to get the best player possible who can help your team for the next 10 years.

“The worst mistake you can make is you take a guy who isn’t that good of a player or not worthy of that and the expectations change. You put a guy in a position that is really unfair to him and you set your organization back and then you try to commit to a guy who really, it’s unfair to him because he shouldn’t have been put in that position. You have to study these guys hard. “

Shanahan said he and Lynch are continuing to study the players the 49ers already have under contract. That includes Colin Kaepernick, who can opt out of his contract in March and become an unrestricted free agent.

If Kaepernick does not opt out, the 49ers would be expected to release him – whether or not they ultimately wish to re-sign him – to avoid being on the hook for his scheduled $14.9 million pay for the 2017 season.

Shanahan said he has communicated with Kaepernick via text message and figures to meet with him at some point.

“The players are all off,” Shanahan said. “Some guys have randomly stopped by. We have time. It’s their vacation time, except for guys who’ve been rehabbing and stuff. Anybody who stops by, my office is always open and (I’m) available.”