Two options remain viable now that Garoppolo has won his first four starts with the team and looked impressive while doing so.
We'll start with the two options that are no longer viable before considering the two options that remain and what execs from other teams would feel comfortable doing.
Discontinued option No. 1: The Kaepernick route
The five-year contract Colin Kaepernick signed with the 49ers in 2014 was heavy on conditional guarantees. It made sense for Kaepernick at the time because he had one full year left on his rookie contract and was scheduled to earn $1.1 million, leaving him largely unprotected if he suffered an injury or played poorly.
Garoppolo has an expiring contract, and he knows the 49ers will do what it takes to retain his rights, with the franchise tag as a likely starting point. The tag essentially provides a $23 million to $24 million floor for Garoppolo in 2018. He does not have -- and probably never had -- any incentive to do the type of deal Kaepernick entered into.