49ers GM John Lynch sounds like he’s already made up his mind about the team’s plans for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo
Garoppolo has energized the 49ers in recent weeks, winning his first five starts since becoming the starting quarterback Dec. 3.
But now he’s eligibie for free agency, and the 49ers have a tough decision to make — stick him with the franchise tag, which will cost at least $23 million in salary next year, or try to work out a long-term deal.
Lynch told the San Francisco Chronicle he wants to keep Garoppolo for a “long, long time.” He sounds so positive about that plan, he used the phrase “long, long time,” several times.
“We’re going to work hard to try to keep him as a 49er for a long, long time,” Lynch said. “We’re really happy with the way he played. We think he’s got some abilities that are unique. And we want him here.”
And then there is this from Lynch.
“Look, we want Jimmy to be a Niner for a long, long time,” Lynch said. “That process is going to take place here. We’re eager to get that done, to have the opportunity. But I think 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.
“And that’s the way we’re going to treat that. But you guys have our assurances and, the fans, too, that we’d like nothing more than to make him a Niner for long, long time.”
Garoppolo’s outstanding play for the 49ers undoubtedly earned him millions of extra dollars on his next contract, be it with the 49ers or another team. The 26-year-old QB, acquired from the Patriots on Oct. 31 for a second-round pick in 2018, averaged 308 yards in those five starts, with seven touchdowns and five interceptions. Going back to his two starts for the Patriots during Tom Brady’s suspension in 2016, he is 7-0 as a starting NFL quarterback.