Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports



San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch spoke to the media on Tuesday and one of the hot topics, as expected, was quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Garoppolo, who the 49ers traded for on October 30, is scheduled to become a free agent in March. The team, which has made it very clear they want the quarterback to return, can either sign him to a long-term contract or use the franchise tag at the cost of an estimated $23.5 million on a one-year deal to retain him in 2018.

The franchise tag can be placed on Garoppolo between February 20 and March 6. Should the 49ers go that route, they will have until July 16 to agree to a multi-year deal with Garoppolo and his agent, Don Yee, or the quarterback will play 2018 on the one-year franchise tag.

"Look, we want Jimmy to be a Niner for a long, long time," Lynch said on Tuesday. "That process is going to take place here. We're eager to get that done, to have the opportunity but I think one thing we really believe is that those things should take place between us and his representatives, and not occur and transpire in the public. That's the way we're going to treat that.

"You have our assurances, and the fans do, that we'd like nothing more to make him a Niner for a long, long time."

Garoppolo went 5-0 as the 49ers' starting quarterback following his acquisition from the New England Patriots. His first start did not come until a Week 13 contest against the Chicago Bears.

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"He was great for us and he made people around him better," Lynch said of Garoppolo. "I think that's the mark of a player who has an opportunity to be special, is do you make people around you better. He did that."

Garoppolo completed 120 of his 178 pass attempts for 1,560 yards, seven touchdowns, five interceptions, and a passer rating of 96.2 during his five starts and six game appearances with the 49ers this season. Are the 49ers ready to commit a large amount of money to the quarterback?

"We're going to work hard to try to keep him as a Forty-Niner for a long, long time," Lynch repeated in response to that question. "We're really happy with the way he played. We think he's got some abilities that are unique and we want him here."

Lynch was asked about Garoppolo's hesitation to publicly declare his interest in remaining with the 49ers for a "long, long" time.

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

Following this past Sunday's victory over the Los Angeles Rams, Garoppolo spoke of his time with the 49ers thus far and the opportunity to play in San Francisco.

"I think it was a good match between the 49ers and myself, and myself and the 49ers," Garoppolo said. "I think it was kind of the perfect match. It just happened at the right time, and good things are coming from it."