49ers need to extend quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo now

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers with general manager John Lynch (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers with general manager John Lynch (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco 49ers now have two full games’ evidence from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and it makes little sense to drag out contract negotiations further. They need to extend him as soon as possible.

There’s no reason for the San Francisco 49ers to wait any longer with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

They need to get his long-term extension over with.

Garoppolo has proven to be the difference during the Niners’ recent two-game winning streak, the latest victory coming with a 26-16 victory over the Houston Texans. While Garoppolo’s net 92.7 passer rating with the 49ers would rank 13th among eligible quarterbacks, it’s more than safe to say he’s done his job.

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  • With Garoppolo under center, head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense has looked like an actual cohesive unit. In back-to-back games, the Niners have managed 804 net yards and a combined 43 first downs.

    Those numbers weren’t happening with former starters Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard.

    The one problem, of course, is Garoppolo is a pending free agent this offseason. There’s no way San Francisco lets him walk after dishing out a second-round pick to the New England Patriots for his services. But it does open up the possibility for a 2018 franchise tag.

    Franchise tags are tricky things. Without getting too deep in the specifics, it’s little more than a one-year “prove it” deal applied to pending free agents. Many players — take Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell as an example — don’t like the tag. Simply put, it creates an awkward situation.

    Head coach Kyle Shanahan indicated the team would be comfortable placing the tag on Garoppolo, which would probably run around $25 million.

    But the only way it makes sense if it was used to extend the negotiation process a bit longer.

    The Market on Quarterbacks Will Only Rise

    I’m no expert on contract negotiations, at least not at the NFL level. But the 49ers are in perfect position to have a bit of leverage in contract talks.

    First, they’ve seen enough evidence to suggest Garoppolo can not only effectively run Shanahan’s offense but, at best, thrive in it. A little over two games — all against decent-to-good defenses — has shown this.

    Sure, there’s a lot of unknowns to be had and Garoppolo has yet to establish himself over the long term. But that actually plays into San Francisco’s favor. General manager John Lynch and Co. can spin that to avoid letting the price range get too out of hand.

    More from Niner Noise

    Speaking of price ranges, the market on quarterbacks is only going to rise in coming seasons. Just take a look at the lucrative deals Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions and Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr signed earlier this year.

    And with Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins hitting the market again, the price tag will only increase.

    Do the 49ers, financially, want to run the risk of Garoppolo having a breakout season on the franchise tag?

    Garoppolo has already shown he can be a franchise-type quarterback, and not of the “tag” variety. And one can only imagine what a full offseason understanding Shanahan’s playbook, paired with more protection up front and better weapons surrounding him, would do.

    Next: 49ers stock watch after beating the Texans in Week 14

    There’s little-to-no reason to wait any longer.