Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was acquired by the San Francisco 49ers via a trade with the New England Patriots on October 30. On Sunday, he entered a game for the first time since being traded to the 49ers. San Francisco lost the game 24-13 to the Seattle Seahawks, but the final 67 seconds that Garoppolo played in were exciting for the fans that remained at Levi's Stadium.

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan expects to decide on a starting quarterback for the team's next game by Wednesday's practice. The 49ers will travel to Soldier Field to play the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

"I'll probably have an answer for you guys on Wednesday," Shanahan said while speaking to reporters on Monday. "I'd like to talk to the staff. I'd like to watch some Chicago (film) first, finish up Seattle. I just finished up watching the game with the quarterbacks and then came in here. I'll have a decision for you guys by Wednesday."

San Francisco has two choices to retain Garoppolo beyond its final five games of the season. He is in the last year of his original rookie contract. Why would the 49ers trade a valuable draft pick for a quarterback who could be looking for a new home in 2018? Because the 49ers have options to retain him beyond this year.

The most cap-friendly option would be to sign Garoppolo, who figures to be the 49ers' franchise quarterback, to a long-term deal. Of course, they haven't even seen him play within Shanahan's system outside of the three snaps he took on Sunday. Another option is the franchise tag, which would pay Garoppolo roughly $24 million on a one-year deal and extend his audition with the 49ers through the 2018 season.

The 49ers have a surplus of cap space and aren't afraid to use the franchise tag to retain Garoppolo. And the quarterback isn't likely to balk at a $23 million payday.

"Just being totally honest, when you look into it, even before we got him, how long are you going to have to make a decision on the guy," Shanahan said on Monday. "I think anybody who, when you're making a long-term decision on someone for your organization, to pay him the amount of money that you do long-term for quarterbacks, that's a big deal. Someone who hasn't played in a lot of football games who is coming here in a situation where he hasn't had the fair opportunity to prepare the right way, on both sides I think it would be very hard for Jimmy to go in there and show over whatever timespan that is that he could do that.

"Also for us, man, that's a lot of pressure to get a guy ready to commit to something that long-term. I think knowing how the franchise tag works and stuff is what made it kind of a no-brainer to make that trade. Like, 'Hey, you have this opportunity to get such a good player. What's the negative?' Well, you don't want to lose him in six weeks or eight weeks. If you have the franchise tag, then you don't have to ever worry about losing him. You can get there; you can do things the right way, really find out what the guy is. I think we understand that. I think Jimmy understands that also."



Shanahan went on to explain what the franchise tag and a long-term contract might mean to Garoppolo.

"I think that's why it makes it easy for us to work through," he continued. "I think Jimmy has goals and believes in himself that he can be one of the better quarterbacks in the league. Anyone who feels that way I would assume wants to be paid that way or be paid accordingly. It's very tough to do over six games, five games, four games.

"I think Jimmy wants his best opportunity to prove that to us. I'd like to give that to him. If that happens over a five-game span, a three-game span, then great, let's do it. If it doesn't, no big deal. We can franchise you. Let's go to work. Our goals will be to get you that next year. If that does happen for you, that means it happens for us. I think we'll all be happy about that."

Related News