The 49ers are taking their time getting new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo into the fold and anticipate it is several weeks before he starts a game for them following his trade from the Patriots. There is a very real chance he has a new contract by then, according to league sources. Both sides are open to the prospect of a long-term deal, a process that could begin as soon as next week.
Coach Kyle Shanahan, smartly, will take his time getting Garoppolo up to seed with his offense, and also buying time for the offensive line (and left tackle Joe Staley in particular) to round into better health before making the inevitable quarterback switch. In the meantime, contract talks are very likely to begin as the 49ers would like to secure the promising passer well beyond this season after trading a second-round pick for him on Monday. Garoppolo, in the process of playing out his rookie contract, is excited about the prospects of playing for one of the brightest offensive minds in the game.
San Francisco would love to avoid having to place a franchise tag on Garoppolo to secure his services, and while there was no discussion between the team and Garoppolo's representatives prior to the trade, that will change shortly. The price of quarterbacks only continues to soar and the 49ers made this trade very much with the long view in mind. With stop-gap quarterbacks like Brock Osweiler and Mike Glennon recently netting contracts worth over $18M in the first year of the deal alone, Garoppolo is in line for a significant payday despite his limited regular-season experience.
After watching what Shanahan's former team, the Redskins, are going through with former Shanahan protegee, Kirk Cousins, headed for a third straight year on a franchise or transition tag, the 49ers want to avoid that sort of scenario here. The aim is to have a multi-year deal for Garoppolo in place before he would be able to have to be tagged or allowed to hit the open market. Garoppolo is currently earning $434,000 this season in the final year of a four-year, $3.5M rookie contract he signed after being selected in the second round in 2014.
While other teams, most notably, the Browns, have had interest in Garoppolo in the past, the deal with the 49ers came together quickly last week, sources said, without the quarterback shopped broadly around the league. Several executives noted their belief that Belichick wanted to trade Garoppolo out of the AFC if possible and also "do him a solid" by not sending him to Cleveland.
These execs noted Shanahan's pedigree cultivating young passers and Belichick's affinity for Garoppolo, and, with the Browns front office and coaching staff likely to be overhauled again, suggested all the above for reasons why Belichick didn't engage the Browns last week after completing several trades with them in recent years and knowing their desire for Garoppolo.