Lynch talks Garoppolo's future with 49ers, mechanics of deal with Patriots

December 21, 2017

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch on Thursday joined sports radio show host Colin Cowherd on FS1, during which time he covered the team's recent success, stemming largely from the acquisition of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from New England.

 

Lynch got into specifics of the blockbuster deal, including discussions with Patriots coach Bill Belichick, how having a quarterback impacts their draft strategy in 2018, and he even addressed Garoppolo's future in the Bay Area. 

 

The 49ers GM started by pulling the curtain back a little more on how the trade came to be. 

 

"All of a sudden the opportunity (to get Garoppolo) came available. It took Kyle (Shanahan) and I about 10 minutes to decide that this was the thing to do," Lynch said.

 

"(Garoppolo) is a guy that Kyle studied a lot coming out of Eastern Illinois, I had watched the limited film there was and I was a fan. It's hard not to be...You watch his skills, take a little leap of faith in everything else, and the fact that there isn't a huge sample size, but what we saw we really liked." 

 

In addition to the film, Lynch and Shanahan received a hard sell from Belichick, who seemed like a big believer. 

 

"Then you listen to Bill and everybody at New England that talks about the guy, and I can tell you it's all been better than advertised.

 

"One thing Bill talked a lot about when we made the deal is, 'You're going to like this guy, you're going to love this guy with the way his teammates respond to him.' And that just became apparent. Certain people just have it.

"Even in a new environment when you're around new people, NFL locker room, midseason, not an easy environment to insert yourself in, particularly that division...and the ease with which he did that, and the way his teammates accepted him right away, it speaks volumes about the type of guy and type of leader he is. That showed right away." 

 

"(And) to get (Garoppolo) for the compensation that was presented in the deal, that's why it was a no-brainer for us. He's looking pretty darn good thus far." 

 

The 49ers sent a second-round pick, one of two they owned at the time, to the Patriots. They also released quarterback Brian Hoyer, allowing Belichick to sign him as Brady's backup without affecting the compensatory formula. 

 

The 49ers most notably retained their first-round pick, which is currently No. 5 overall.

 

"Absolutely (quarterback) is thee position in this league. I think we talk about it all the time, but now we've lived it," Lynch told Cowherd. "And you see when a guy comes in at that position and plays at a high level...(Garoppolo's) play just kind of elevated everyone else's play."

 

Now that it appears the deal has worked out for them, what do the 49ers do? They have among the most salary cap space in 2018, giving them the option to extend him long-term or apply a franchise tag. 

 

"(Garoppolo) loves it here," Lynch said. "We want him to be part of our future for a long, long time."

 

Lynch, smiling wide, then talked about the lure of California, particularly in the heart of Silicon Valley. 

 

"That's one of the things, kind of taking a page out of the Warriors' playbook," the 49ers GM recalled. "Kevin Durant, as I understand, decided on Golden State for many reasons, but a big part of it, he wanted to be around the business opportunities." 

 

Garoppolo is 3-0 in three starts against the Bears, Texans and Titans, the first two of which were road games. He is completing over 68% of his passes and is averaging 336 passing yards a game. 

 

 

 

Media courtesy USA Today Sports Images

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