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Jimmy Garoppolo, Carlos Hyde make NFL.com’s top 25 free agents

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Garoppolo is, unsurprisingly, in the top spot. Not that he’s actually going to hit free agency, of course.

Free agency is rapidly approaching, at least for the teams eliminated from playoffs contention. It’s the next big thing to care about from a talent acquisition standpoint (the NFL Combine is in there, too), which of course means it’s time for lists! Top free agents, worst free agents, best contracts, worst contracts, biggest busts ... lists reign supreme.

As you can expect, they ranked the top projected free agents for 2018 over at NFL.com and, unsurprisingly, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is the top name. Of course, the 49ers aren’t expected to let Garoppolo actually negotiate with another team, and will use the franchise tag on him if they need to. Still, he belongs at the top of a list like this.

They say that there is “no chance” that Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch let Garoppolo, a franchise quarterback who “fell in their laps,” go. They suggest that he “could be one of the sport’s highest-paid players after only seven career starts.”

Garoppolo comes in right above Kirk Cousins of the Washington NFL team. Cousins was the popular pick for a future Shanahan target, someone we covered extensively here at Niners Nation. Now he’s not somebody that the 49ers are interested in, while Garoppolo is expected to make more than him with their new deals. Drew Brees, another quarterback, is third on the list.

Carlos Hyde also makes an appearance on the list, coming in at No. 25, the bottom spot. They aren’t as sold on Hyde as many are, suggesting that him being “so uneven” under Shanahan is a bad sign given his skillset.

Finally, safety Eric Reid is listed as a “notable omission,” while other guys like Daniel Kilgore, Tank Carradine, Aaron Lynch and Dontae Johnson do not appear on the list, which sounds about right to me.