49ers CEO Shares Strong Opinion on Selecting Trey Lance

Trey Lance

Getty Trey Lance hands the ball off on September 18, 2022 in Santa Clara.

Trey Lance is facing an upcoming 2023 season that involves him potentially remaining as the No. 2 option for the San Francisco 49ers — far different from the original outlook many fans and analysts had for the No. 3 overall pick of the 2021 draft and now entering season three.

General manager John Lynch declared Brock Purdy the clubhouse leader on Monday, March 27. But now, one more 49ers executive sounded off on the state of the 49ers QB room at the 2023 NFL Owner’s Meeting in Arizona: CEO Jed York.

Two years ago, York and company traded significant draft capital to take in Lance. Now, with Purdy already the heavy favorite to win the starting gig, is York reversing his thoughts on moving up to nab Lance?

“I wouldn’t change anything that we’ve made about the decision with Trey,” York told reporters Tuesday, March 28 (h/t NBC Sports Bay Area). “I think Trey has a chance to be great, but it’s a bonus when you get somebody at the end of the seventh round that ends up coming in and being very impactful for your team.”

York Sounds Off on Potentially Overcrowded QB Room

One look at the 2023 quarterback options on the 49ers and there’s the potential for over-scrutiny and fans expecting a QB controversy.

After all, Purdy guided the 49ers to the NFC title game having replaced Jimmy Garoppolo while Lance was also nursing his broken ankle. Then the 49ers added another past starting quarterback and a top three draft pick in 2018 via free agency in Sam Darnold.

York, however, let it be known that teams like the 49ers love having the luxury of seeing deep QB options all capable of leading the offense regardless of who is in.

“I’ve said it multiple times with quarterbacks, whether it was Alex [Smith] and [Colin Kaepernick], watching Jimmy [Garoppolo], and Jimmy and Trey, and now Brock and Trey and Sam [Darnold], you can’t have enough good quarterbacks,” York said.

He even went back in time to reflect on another past 49er who gave the franchise some signal-caller stability.

“I wish that we can go back in time and Steve Bono could be my third-string quarterback behind two future Hall of Famers,” York said, referencing the third option in a room that featured Steve Young and Joe Montana. “That’s fantastic. That gives you a chance to win and be very, very successful in this league.”

He also continued to defend Lance as critics continue to question his trajectory as an NFL QB.

“Again, you can’t worry about, ‘Well, Trey hasn’t played as many games as we would have liked.’ It’s not his fault. He got injured,” York said.

Shanahan Sounds Off on Lance

Meanwhile, head coach Kyle Shanahan was another sounding off on the state of the 49ers QB room including addressing the status of Lance.

The man now entering his seventh season with the 49ers let it be known what Lance is soon facing once training camp begins.

“I think it’s going to be harder for him, too,” Shanahan responded via The Athletic’s David Lombardi. “I mean, Brock played in eight games, and Trey had that job going into last season. And if he would have played eight games like that, no one else would have been able to come in and beat him out.”

Shanahan, though, isn’t ruling out Lance completely.

“But with Brock being hurt, it does open [things] up, and it does give him a chance,” Shanahan said. “Now, I don’t know how Brock’s going to come back. I don’t know exactly when he’s going to come back, so I don’t have the exact answer for that. But right now, because he is hurt, it’s nice to focus on Trey, it’s nice to focus on Sam, and see how they do [in] OTAs and most likely see how they’re playing, leading us into training camp, because I think it will take some time for Brock.”

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