49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo won't divulge 2018 wishes
SANTA CLARA - Despite his recent success with the 49ers, impending free-agent quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo still will not say he wants to sign a multi-year contract extension with the team.
On Wednesday, a reporter asked if Garoppolo sees himself with the 49ers long term. Garoppolo dodged the question, as he had done before. “If we handle the (Jacksonville) Jaguars well,” he said, “and (if we) finish out the season well, we'll figure it out after that.”
Garoppolo has been non-committal about his future since the 49ers traded for him Oct. 30. At his introductory press conference, a reporter asked Garoppolo if he had found his home for quite some time.
“We'll see what happens,” he said. “Thrilled to be here. I couldn't be happier. But you know, got to take it week by week right now. I've got a whole playbook to learn. The terminology, I mean, it's going to be learning a different language. I'm looking forward to the challenge and enjoying the process.”
Since then, Garoppolo has learned the playbook, learned the terminology, started three games, won three games, thrown for 1,026 yards, completed 68.7 percent of his passes and posted a quarterback rating of 98. He has produced these statistics without the 49ers' highest-paid receiver - Pierre Garcon. Despite all that, he still will not verbally commit to the team.
“(Garoppolo) is as good as it gets right now,” Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said on a conference call with Bay Area reporters Wednesday morning. “He's hitting his groove. He's playing on all cylinders. He can extend plays. He can get in and out of plays. He has unbelievable accuracy. He is doing a lot. He's got a hot hand. He's playing very confidently. It shows on the field. It's on the tape. He is a really good NFL quarterback.
“It's tough when you acquire someone at the trade deadline. There's just a feeling-out period. All of a sudden, you hit a comfort level with him. I can't say that it's happening, because obviously I'm not there. But what I'm saying is it's a very dangerous combination (for opponents).
“Coach Shanahan is an outstanding coach offensively. He's an excellent head coach. He's an excellent playcaller. You can see that they have a rhythm, they have confidence. Those guys are playing at a high level, and it's going to be a great challenge for us.”
Garoppolo will be a free agent at the end of the season. Both Shanahan and 49ers GM John Lynch have said they will assign Garoppolo the franchise tag if he and the team can't agree to a long-term deal. So, Garoppolo almost certainly will be on the 49ers next season.
The franchise tag is a one-year contract worth the average of the five highest-paid players at a given position. For Garoppolo, the franchise tag will be worth roughly $25 million in 2018.
A team can give a player the franchise tag up to three times. So even if the 49ers and Garoppolo can't agree to a long-term deal, the 49ers can keep him in Santa Clara through 2020.
But each year a player gets the franchise tag, he gets a 20 percent raise. If Garoppolo were to play under the tag in 2019, the 49ers would pay him roughly $30 million. And if Garoppolo were to play under the tag again in 2020, the 49ers would pay him roughly $36 million.
That means Garoppolo could earn about $91 million from the 49ers the next three seasons if he chooses to play year-to-year under the franchise tag, instead of signing a five-year contract or a six-year contract.
The 49ers can afford to give Garoppolo the franchise tag three years in a row if they have to. They will have more than $116 million in salary cap space for 2018 - more cap space than any other team will have.
Scot McCloughan, former 49ers and Washington Redskins GM, believes the 49ers should avoid using the franchise tag on Garoppolo if possible. McCloughan was part of the Redskins front office that gave quarterback Kirk Cousins the franchise tag two seasons in a row.
“Once you start franchising,” McCloughan said, “you affect the whole team as a group because of the money you're investing in the quarterback.
“You've got 52 other guys on the roster that you have to take care of. There are guys (the 49ers) are going to want to sign next year, and if all of a sudden they have to franchise (Garoppolo) … I hope they don't have to. I hope they get a long-term deal done, which I think they will. But I'm not speaking for them. No one from there has told me that.”
Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin missed practice Wednesday afternoon for personal reasons. Last week, his biological father passed away. A month ago, Goodwin's wife gave birth to a stillborn baby. “I've been dealing with a lot,” Goodwin said after Sunday's game. He is scheduled to return to practice today.
Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner missed Wednesday's practice with an ankle injury. Shanahan did not mention this injury to the media on Monday when listing players who had gotten hurt last Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh will update reporters on Buckner's ankle Thursday afternoon.
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