On Thursday, the 49ers rewarded Garoppolo with a five-year, $137.5 million contract – the richest in NFL history. Now, the quarterback has to prove he is worth it. Garoppolo is preparing to head into his first full offseason with the 49ers and feels he will only get better with more time learning the system.
"We've got a big offseason ahead of us," Garoppolo told reporters during a press conference on Friday. "I think getting in the playbook and fully understanding that this offseason with Kyle will really help me going into next season."
In five starts and six game appearances with the 49ers, Garoppolo completed 120 of his 178 pass attempts for 1,560 yards, seven touchdowns, five interceptions, a passer rating of 96.2, and even had a rushing touchdown. And that's without a full offseason to learn Shanahan's offense.
"I've never been here for an offseason so everything will be kind of new for me, just like the season was," Garoppolo said. "I think getting into Phase 1, Phase 2, and really being able to talk through the offense, some of the finer things that I didn't get to get involved into during the season, I think it will really help me."
49ers general manager John Lynch is also eager to see how much better Garoppolo can be after a full offseason with Shanahan.
"What excites me is that he hadn't even had an offseason, and now when he gets to sit down with Kyle and understand a little bit about the thought process behind the plan, I think it's only going to get better," Lynch said.
Shanahan went on to explain why a full offseason will be so crucial to Garoppolo's development.
"It's nice to start from scratch, to go at a slower process," Shanahan said. "He got a crash course, and he did a hell of a job picking it up. But sometimes he's out there, and he's just going, but he doesn't truly understand why and things like that. But he did a great job of getting through the week to where he had a chance to do it on Sunday.
"And now, the rush isn't quite the same. You start from the beginning. Start on the first page, not the 50th page. You get a better foundation, and when you have a better foundation of where you're coming from when you're learning, I think it gives you a chance to play at a higher level."
Thanks to Garoppolo, the 49ers are already becoming a favorite among Las Vegas oddsmakers. And that's before free agency and the draft. With the quarterback position officially addressed, the 49ers can now focus on improving areas around Garoppolo to continue the momentum from the end of the 2017 season.
You can watch Friday's press conference with Garoppolo, Shanahan, and Lynch below.