The 49ers have found their quarterback of the future. Now, they simply have to pay him.
It won’t be easy. When traded to the 49ers in October, Jimmy Garoppolo already had all the leverage. Once they started playing him and he played well and the 49ers won a bunch of games in a row, Garoppolo acquired even more leverage.
How much leverage? Enough to get former 49ers president Carmen Policy to recommend a bizarre negotiating strategy to Jed York and company.
“If I were representing the team, I think what I would do is enter the room and I would bring a large jar of Vaseline,” Policy said on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, “and I would say to the agent on the other side, ‘I’m a nice guy. I really want to do the right thing. Please be gentle with me.'”
It’s a very weird thing to say, even without taking into account the recent societal focus on all forms and types of sexual misconduct.
The broader point, regardless of how it’s articulated, is that the 49ers really don’t hold many or any cards on this one. Some have suggested that the only play will be to use the exclusive franchise tag, which means they’d tender him the average of the five highest quarterback cap numbers for 2018, and then give Garoppolo a long-term based on a 20-percent increase in the exclusive franchise tender for 2019 and 44-percent for 2020.
Or they can just go year to year, which will be an expensive way to delay the inevitable moment at which they will be required, to use a less colorful metaphor, to give Garoppolo a blank check.