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49ers have to find weapons for Jimmy Garappolo

The San Francisco 49ers have done the heavy lifting. They were able to nab both a young, innovative head coach and a terrific (also young) franchise quarterback in Kyle Shanahan and Jimmy Garoppolo.

The duo is set in stone moving forward for at least a few years after the 49ers signed Garoppolo to a five-year contract worth up to $137.5 million, the richest deal in NFL history. All told, the contract is structured wonderfully by general manager John Lynch. Garoppolo is getting $74.1 million guaranteed but if things don’t pan out, could be cut without much pain after the 2019 season. Furthermore, San Francisco was slated to have a projected $113 million in cap space this offseason, most in the league. Garoppolo will have a gigantic $37 million hit in 2018, but San Francisco can more than afford it.

Even with Garoppolo’s number, the 49ers still have the second-most cap space in the league, and Lynch has to use some of it. San Francisco needs to retain running back Carlos Hyde unless it can upgrade him with someone such as Le’Veon Bell. Lynch also has to help out the offensive line, perhaps targeting Andrew Norwell, the best guard in free agency.

Yet the most important thing Lynch can do is give Garoppolo some weapons on the outside. Last year, the 49ers were without a single meaningful player on the perimeter outside of Marquise Goodwin, who led the team with 962 receiving yards. The next-best figure was 515, set by George Kittle. Most people outside of the Bay Area have never heard of Kittle, so there’s that.

San Francisco will have plenty of options in free agency, let alone the draft. The 49ers should be willing to make calls on Sammy Watkins, Terrell Pryor, Paul Richardson and Jarvis Landry. If Jordy Nelson, Jeremy Maclin, Michael Crabtree or other veterans get released by their current teams, Lynch should attempt to bring in at least one, giving some experience to an offense without much of it.

In the draft, Calvin Ridley would be a fantastic edition, although the 49ers might be out of luck there. Because of their five-game winning streak at the end of the 2017 season, San Francisco is drafting in the ninth spot. There is a chance that Ridley gets there, but it won’t be a sure thing. Ridley was dominant at the University of Alabama and could be gone when San Francisco comes onto the clock.

With the 49ers finally having solved both the head coach and quarterback positions, the next few months are about provided support and talent around them. After a few ugly years in Levi’s Stadium, the San Fran faithful should be very enthused about what is coming next.

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