The 26-year-old Illinois native led the Niners to five straight victories to close out the season after being acquired from the New England Patriots in a midseason trade.
He completed 67.4 percent of his passes for 1,560 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions across six appearances. His 96.2 passer rating would have ranked ninth in the NFL if he had enough playing time to qualify, ahead of the Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson and Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan, among others.
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After the season, San Francisco general manager John Lynch made it clear the front office would try to lock Garoppolo down long term.
"We're going to work hard to try to keep him as a 49er for a long, long time," he told reporters. "We're really happy with the way he played. We think he's got some abilities that are unique, and we want him here."
Garoppolo was more coy about his intentions.
"Um, I like being here. We had a good thing going at the end of this year," he said in his press conference after the season. "You know, we'll see what happens."
Garoppolo will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but the Niners would surely use the franchise tag to keep him for at least one more year if a new deal isn't reached.
Signing him to a long-term extension would give the front office more clarity at the sport's most important position before working to fill the roster's other needs following a 6-10 season.