Having a quality starting quarterback on a cheap rookie contract that can’t be renegotiated for another year gives a team a certain financial flexibility.
And now that the 49ers have already locked up right tackle Anthony Davis, they’re moving down the line.
Albert Breer of the NFL Network mentioned that the 49ers have begun preliminary contract talks with guard Mike Iupati.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com said no deal is imminent, and there’s no timetable for an agreement. Basically, that means there have been a few phone conversations about possibly doing something, maybe someday.
But because the 49ers can’t do anything with deals for Colin Kaepernick or outside linebacker Aldon Smith until after the 2013 season (per terms of the last collective bargaining agreement), there’s a window to work on Iupati or wide receiver Michael Crabtree.
The 49ers won’t be able to pay everyone, and Iupati will command a big deal after an All-Pro season. But if they want to keep him, this year is the time to move, before quarterbacks and pass-rushers need to be paid.