The San Francisco 49ers made an intriguing trade on Monday when they dealt away a second round pick to the New England Patriots for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The move is big given the importance of the quarterback position, but one of the many interesting angles is that Garoppolo is a free agent at the end of this season.
Garoppolo signed a four-year rookie contract when he was drafted in 2014, and as a second round pick, there is no fifth year option. NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport tweeted that a contract extension was not part of the trade. He said, “Nothing is close or imminent.”
When trades involve upcoming free agents, we often hear about a team getting a window to negotiate an extension. Adam Schefter reported the trade talks between the 49ers and Patriots began Monday morning. Given how quickly the trade came together, it’s clear the 49ers were comfortable waiting to make a deal.
The question now is how long it will take to get something done. Part of that will depend on what Garoppolo wants, but some will depend on what John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan are prepared to do. They might want to wait and see what he does over the nine weeks. They also might simply be prepared to begin negotiations once he is in town and work something out from there.
The 49ers new brain trust has made plenty of big decisions this year, but this quickly becomes the biggest. The trade itself was important, but now it’s a matter of settling this thing for the future. Cap space is not an issue, but I would think they won’t go entirely overboard with a deal. Paraag Marathe will lead the negotiation process, but there will be plenty of input from Shanahan, Lynch, and the rest of the front office.