Going into just his second game as a full-time 49ers starter, Trey Lance is not in a situation that compares to the ones most high-level quarterback prospects have encountered upon entering the NFL. Jimmy Garoppolo‘s restructured deal to stay with the team has undoubtedly shortened Lance’s leash, creating what could be unusually high Week 2 stakes for a first-year starter.
Heavy favorites for a second straight week, the 49ers hoped their schedule’s first two games — against a rebuilding Bears team and a Seahawks squad that moved on from a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback this offseason — would represent a nice onramp of sorts for Lance, Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post notes. After a waterlogged mess of a season opener, the 49ers are 0-1. And a pivot to Garoppolo could loom if a second straight shaky Lance start happens.
A 49ers loss to the Seahawks has led some who have worked with Kyle Shanahan to expect he would bench Lance before a Week 3 game in Denver, La Canfora adds. This would be one of the most unusual developments in recent NFL history, given what the 49ers gave up to draft Lance third overall. But Lance entered the league as an atypical prospect. And he ended up with a team with a Super Bowl-caliber roster, a setup that obviously differs from most teams that draft a quarterback at No. 3.
The 49ers threw their support behind Lance this offseason, spending months trying to unload Garoppolo. When nothing materialized by training camp, Shanahan approached his former starter about a reworked contract that kept him in San Francisco as Lance’s backup. Despite the 49ers assuring Lance this did not affect his status, some close to the situation — along with others around the NFL — did not see the Garoppolo reunion that way. Pushback against Lance having a short leash has emerged, but it is hard to envision the 49ers showing the patience most teams would with a top-three QB draftee considering their status as one of the NFC favorites.
Lance has barely thrown 400 regular-season passes since his high school graduation, seeing the COVID-19 pandemic wipe out his sophomore season at Division I-FCS North Dakota State. Shortly after the pandemic nixed the 2020 FCS fall season, the dual-threat QB parlayed his dominant freshman slate into following Carson Wentz as a top-three draftee from the FCS level’s premier program. A finger injury hindered Lance as a rookie, leading to him not threatening Garoppolo’s job security despite the veteran starter battling a slew of ailments himself. An inconsistent Lance performance in the 49ers’ preseason finale provided the final push for the 49ers to reach a revised contract agreement with Garoppolo, per La Canfora.
While Garoppolo re-emerging as San Francisco’s starter early this season would represent an extraordinarily quick hook for a player in whom the team invested so much (2022 and ’23 future first-rounders and a 2022 third), the 49ers have assembled one of the NFC’s best rosters. Garoppolo does not offer a high ceiling, but his floor is probably above Lance’s at this point. Garoppolo’s deal expires at season’s end, which could effectively lead to a second redshirt season for Lance — in the event a benching does occur. But Garoppolo’s injury past points to Lance being needed as well.
Lance’s rookie deal runs through 2024, with a fifth-year option in place to extend it to 2025. The 49ers deciding they need a more experienced option under center soon would not prevent them from going back to Lance next year, but it would make for a rather unusual early-career arc and a potentially strained relationship. Lance can quiet benching speculation with a bounce-back performance Sunday, but this storyline probably will not move to the back burner anytime soon.
27 comments on “Latest On 49ers’ Quarterback Situation”
I’m not saying trey lance is amazing or the next Tom Brady, but to judge him off that one game in those conditions is foolish at best.
Yeah it’s not like Fields tore it up last week himself in that monsoon.
Oh yea! He REALLY “tore it up”. 8-17 121 2 TDs and 1 INT while rushing 11 times for 28 yards. Really tore it up! They both played shitty. Fields really had 2 plays where a safety blew it and he got a long pass in the same 10 min window at the end of the 3rd and start of the 4th when the rain very much died down before kicking up hard again. There play was mostly that same.
Well someone didn’t read what the replied to lol
Yeah reading comprehension is hard for some on here…..
Yeah, they might as well have played in a cranberry bog.
But also, the answer to a guy not having seen enough game action probably isn’t to bench him. Sure, they’d like to win now, but they placed an awfully big bet that they could develop him and he would be their future, and it’s not like Jimmy G is Aaron Rodgers.
Indeed. That game seemed to turn after Deebo’s fumble. The momentum shifted after that and the 4th quarter became a comedy(not for 49er fans) of errors.
What about judging him on the fact that’s he shown absolutely nothing at any point in his career, including that one game?
He’s attempted 99 passes in the NFL.
And still no rings.
Yeah and he didn’t have that many in college – which is the exact reason why so many woln’t buy in. Show SOMETHING.
Ok. He’s had one game as the full time starter and it was played in a water park. I’m not saying he’ll definitely be good, but last week would have been sloppy with almost anyone.
As a Seahawk fan I hope that is the best game he has in his NFL career. Not getting hurt I reserve that for perv. I just hope he sucks. Lol
forecast calls for rain in bay area on sunday…if he doesnt perform well again, does he get a free pass until its ideal conditions?
Nope. Just a broken ankle.
So it’s gotten to the point that although QBs can earn $40MM per year we really shouldn’t expect them to be able to perform under adverse weather conditions? I may be an old school fart but I find that ridiculous. Perhaps we should have outrageously expensive domed stadiums for every team so the QBs won’t have to deal with such an unbearable hardship as wind, rain or snow.
Did you watch any of the game? The reality is no NFL game field should ever look as bad as Soldier Field did on Sunday. This isn’t some “In my day, there were only two domes and everyone had to play in snow” stuff. That was one of the very worst field situations I’ve ever seen for a pro game, and they’re lucky it wasn’t an injury bloodbath. I think it’s fair to mostly throw that game out for evaluation purposes.
’83 Mud Bowl didn’t have the same rain but that field was so horrendous Shula was accused of having it watered before the game
Then again, to be fair, weather has always been the “12th Man” in football long before players were making millions
That field was like a putting green compared to the one in DC on Monday night a few years ago. When you got tackled they had to have guys pull you up with a big sucking sound. I played on a field like that in HS. It was awful since I was center a DE. The NFL shouldn’t play on that but I thought the field help up fairly good.
I remember Unitas having great performances in foul weather and Sayers scored six touchdowns in his rookie season on a quagmire field in San Francisco.
Paid $40m and not be very good as well. Look at this video of Kyler. link to larrybrownsports.com
Ouch, you can get away with that once or twice…but with Murray, it’s a recurring theme unfortunately. Athleticism is great, but it can’t be relied on to get you out of every situation as a general approach. Kingsbury’s “answer” was pretty bad, and that’s considering the fact that I’m not a proponent of criticizing responses when we as fans don’t know all of the circumstances.
At least Fields and Lance feel as if they’re actually trying to be better, again in my very limited perception.
Jimmy should never have restructured his deal. They weren’t going to pay the $25M so he would have been cut. At the time, both the Browns and Seahawks most likely would have spoken with him. Add in Dak’s injury, he could have easily cleared more than the $6 SF signed him for.
All offseason, the HC & GM said “It’s Trey’s team…’. So why take that deal?
Agreed. With the shortage of qualified backup QBs and in some cases starters, he’d have found a better opportunity elsewhere and most likely for more money. Not sure if he has total confidence in himself, but the odds were with him.
The handling of his pending transition was absolutely smart for the 9ers, and absolutely ungrateful to Garappolo. He bailed them out last year, led them to playoff success, and endured seemingly incessant criticisms of his ability throughout his starting career in San Fran. He never really complained, or agitated outside. The only thing that he could possibly be knocked for in terms of how he handled it was the timing of his surgery, but given that that was a health decision, I don’t believe that he owed the 9ers anything more in order to secure a better deal for the team.
San Francisco was wise to get all they could from a football perspective, but players do note how teams treat them. They don’t do that from a team perspective, either-they do it from their own perspective as a player. Garappolo is well-liked by all accounts, and if Lance struggles, the move to bench Garappolo might look worse. However, this is not a decision that can be reversed once in motion. Going back and forth will likely hurt Lance and create the impression that the 49ers are indecisive and dysfunctional.
Keeping an able quarterback on the bench while the unproven starter struggles is a major distraction, however. A better move would have been to get rid of Garappolo if they insisted on Lance, trade or not. Going back and forth would be bad. The best move, if they even considered that he wasn’t ready, would have been to sit Lance another year instead of forcing Garappolo aside.
A guy in Lance’s position should not have been out partying with strippers.
Right…massages make more sense if your after a record setting guaranteed contract.