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John Lynch: ‘We want Jimmy [Garoppolo] to be a Niner for a long, long time.”

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John Lynch seems ready to pay up, but we’ll see.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers-Jimmy Garoppolo Press Conference Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo have work to do figuring out his contract for the future, but John Lynch is excited to make something happen. Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan met with the media on Tuesday to wrap up the season, and Lynch made his thoughts clear about Garoppolo. He was asked about getting Garoppolo extended, and he said three different times that he wants Garoppolo to be a Niner “for a long, long time.”

"We want Jimmy to be a Niner for a long, long time. We’re eager to get that done, to have the opportunity. You have our assurances that we’d like nothing more than to make him a Niner for a long, long time."

Lynch kept things fairly simple with his response, making it clear he wants to see Garoppolo stick around, but not going into details beyond that. Eric Branch asked if they were prepared to pay Garoppolo like one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and Lynch said they were going to work hard to keep him “for a long, long time.”

This is not really breaking news given that Lynch has been effusive in his praise for Garoppolo. It comes down to how much the 49ers are willing to risk, financially, on a player with seven career starts (and wins). Garoppolo has looked fantastic thus far, but it is still a limited enough sample size that the 49ers might prefer a contract that involves a little less long-term risk.

We don’t know what the 49ers specifically want out of this, and we don’t know what Garoppolo wants to get out of this. We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out over the next two months leading up to free agency. Lynch said they don’t want to do this through the public, so my guess is we don’t hear much until something gets closer — or doesn’t get close as the franchise tag deadline approaches. This will certainly qualify as arguably the biggest test of how much the front office keeps things close to the chest vis á vis contract negotiations.