San Francisco 49ers' offseason reset with Jimmy Garoppolo still on the roster - San Francisco 49ers Blog

San Francisco 49ers’ offseason reset with Jimmy Garoppolo still on the roster – San Francisco 49ers Blog

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – With one notable exception, the San Francisco 49ers’ offseason has gone exactly as planned.

Well, the Niners didn’t believe they’d keep as many of their own free agents as they did last year, which is why guard Laken Tomlinson, defensive tackle DJ Jones and end Arden Key departed. Yes, San Francisco planned to divert that money to a premium position such as cornerback, leading to the addition of Charvarius Ward.

The curveball? Entering the offseason, the 49ers decision-makers – coach Kyle Shanahan, general manager John Lynch and chief executive officer Jed York – believed they would have found a new home for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo by now. That hasn’t happened, largely because other, better signal-callers have moved and Garoppolo’s right shoulder surgery caused teams to back away.

Even with such a significant question mark hanging over the franchise (to say nothing of Garoppolo’s $ 26.95 million salary-cap charge), the Niners’ brain trust sounds content with how it’s played out.

“The surgery was a surprise, so that was different,” Shanahan said. “But we went into free agency and we thought we really needed to get a corner. That was our No. 1 need. And we got that. That’s what I was really happy with. I thought we needed to improve in special teams and we got three special teams players who also will contribute on offense and defense. That was very important to me. And very excited about that. … everything has gone how we expected it to. “

There’s an important distinction to make between things going as expected and those things leading to a positive outcome. The 49ers spent last season working on dual tracks in hopes they would lead to the same destination. They kept Garoppolo as part of a plan to contend for the Super Bowl in 2021 while also planning for the future with rookie quarterback Trey Lance.

The Niners drive to another Super Bowl appearance ended in the NFC title game, but it was close enough for York to forge ahead with confidence in Shanahan and Lynch to get the Niners back to the top after a 27-year Lombardi Trophy drought.

At the recent NFL owners meetings in Palm Beach, Florida, York made it clear that his belief in Shanahan and Lynch has only grown since their hiring in 2017. The Niners have had their ups and downs but two NFC Championship Game appearances in the past three years have allowed York to remain in the background while Lynch and Shanahan do the heavy lifting.

“We have two of the best people in the business,” York said. “Not to knock other people who have been there, but I don’t feel like I need to be involved as much because we have two people who know their job really, really well. And we help each other as opposed to if somebody wasn ‘t as good as what these guys are where you need to do more and get more out of it. The results speak for themselves, so there’s not much I need to do. I need to empower them to be successful. “

There is work left to do this offseason. Sure, the Seattle Seahawks traded quarterback Russell Wilson, a move that brought a smile to Shanahan’s face, but York calls the NFC West “the toughest division in all of sports.” With the defending world champion Los Angeles Rams reloading for another run and the Arizona Cardinals coming off a playoff appearance, the Niners’ path back to the Super Bowl will require a strong draft (without a first-round pick) and a revamped coaching staff developing the new additions and returning in-house talent.

Beyond that, the 49ers have two contract extensions to get done with defensive end Nick Bosa and receiver Deebo Samuel. Bosa’s price tag already figured to be somewhere in the $ 27 million to $ 30 million range based on the top end of its positional market. But Samuel’s price has continued to rise as multiple elite wideouts – Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs and others – have inked high-end contracts this offseason.

The Niners have repeatedly said they intend to retain Bosa and Samuel with long-term deals.

“We have a great plan,” York said. “We’re going to keep our guys that we’ve identified. And I know the guys that we’re working on contracts with. … I know that we have a plan to be able to keep a lot of our players in place. And we’ve already re-signed some of our players. We’re going to continue to re-sign our players. “

In recent years, megadeals for players at the level of a Bosa or Samuel have come together in July, just before training camp. That could be the case again this year, as the Niners don’t have much salary-cap space and will need to either do more contract adjustments or move on from Garoppolo in order to sign their draft class.

The 49ers anticipate a clean bill of health for Garoppolo and what they hope is a revitalized trade market for him in early July.

“We value strength at that position,” Lynch said. “To be completely forthright, though, when you make a trade of that magnitude [last year], most of our options did not include Jimmy on our books. … But you always have to adapt and a series of events happened that it didn’t work out. But that’s not a bad thing, though. We feel positive with it. And we’ll make it work. “

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