Garoppolo, Kittle, 4 more moves 49ers will make

SANTA CLARA — My unsolicited advice to the 49ers’ brain trust of Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch after the Super Bowl was to heed the lesson of the game and be aggressive this offseason.

But that’s not what I expect out of the 49ers this offseason after conversations with people who know this stuff better than I.

As such, I expect the Niners to stand relatively pat.

This isn’t to say that they won’t be interested in some of the bigger-name external options in free agency and in possible trades, but the way things appear to be shaking out, the gang looks to be getting back together in 2020.

Here are six things I expect to happen:

Jimmy Garoppolo signs a new contract

Oh, you thought that the 49ers were going to move on from their quarterback after his disastrous fourth quarter in the Super Bowl? You truly consume too much national media and Twitter.

No, Garoppolo is sticking around and I expect him to sign a two-year contract extension with the 49ers this offseason.

The new deal will be presented by the 49ers as a show of confidence in their QB1, who just ended his first full season as the team’s starter and boasts a 21-6 record at the helm.

But the real reason behind this extension is that it can clear some up some salary-cap space for the 49ers — best-case scenario, just shy of $20 million.

The 49ers fashioned an escape hatch into Garoppolo’s first contract with the team — the one that made him the highest-paid player in the NFL for a hot minute. It could be opened this offseason. Starting in 2020, Garoppolo’s pay is almost all base salary, meaning that if the 49ers cut him, they’re on the hook for little against the cap.

But they’re not going to cut him this year or after next year, either. Garoppolo might not be transcendent, but there aren’t upgrades available for the foreseeable future. The Niners won’t be in a position to draft a quarterback early going forward and better quarterbacks than Garoppolo never hit the open market as free agents. This is their guy, for better or for worse.

And by restructuring and adding a couple of years to his contract, the 49ers can convert those upcoming Garoppolo base salaries to bonuses and clear up a ton of cap space. Garoppolo might even be able to get a slight pay-bump out of the deal.

Now, the quarterback might want to bet on himself after this season and be in a position for a mega-deal from San Francisco — it would be the prudent thing to do in his spot — but he’s a team player and learned from his years with the Patriots that avarice doesn’t pay.

Given everything else the 49ers have to do this offseason to merely keep the band together, I expect them to make this new deal happen before $15.7 million of his 2020 salary becomes guaranteed on April 1 (per Over The Cap).

The Niners could also do a deal like this with Dee Ford, but I don’t expect that to go down. Given Ford’s health, the 49ers would be unwise to tie themselves to him beyond the 2020 season.

Kyle Juszczyk signs a new deal

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