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Lynch, Garoppolo approach contract extension differently

In all likelihood, the 49ers will place the franchise tag on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo next month or in March. The estimated cost of the tag will be $23.5 million for next year, and the 49ers are likely to have about $130 million in cap space this off-season, so the tag is feasible.

Placing the tag also doesn’t mean the team won’t keep negotiating. The 49ers will have until July 16 to work out a long-term deal if they tag on the first day possible, which would be February 20. Tagging Garoppolo does provide the team some leverage in negotiations, although probably not much.

That’s why the 49ers appear more enthusiastic about signing Garoppolo then he does. At his season-ending press conference, Lynch said, “Look, we want Jimmy to a Niner for a long, long time.”

Garoppolo wasn’t as definitive about his future with his new team.

“I like being here,” Garoppolo said Monday as players cleared out their lockers. “I think we had a good thing going at the end of this year. We’ll see what happens.”

He’s probably been instructed by his agent not to say much else, which includes that he would like stay a 49er. By keeping the 49ers, the media and the fans guessing about his intentions, Garoppolo only strengthens his negotiating position.

Nevertheless, Garoppolo has liked it here, he’s greatly appreciated his teammates and the support staff, which includes how he’s been handled by the public relations staff. His teammates have done nothing but rave about him, and have labeled him, “Franchise.”

He’s even loosened up with the media, dropping antidotes and little jokes.

That’s why Lynch seems unconcerned that Garoppolo hasn’t expressed his desire to a 49er for a “long, long

“I think we’ve had conversations with him and we know where he stands, and we’re comfortable with that,” Lynch said.


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