As San Francisco 49ers fans await the conclusion to Deebo Samuel and Jimmy Garoppolo’s offseason sagas, the fanbase is also focused on Trey Lance.
The second-year quarterback is expected to take on the starting job in 2022 after sitting behind Garoppolo in 2021. However, Garoppolo has yet to be traded or released, raising questions about San Francisco’s plan this year.
Now, an update from NFL insider Matt Lombardo is raising even more questions. Underdog Fantasy’s Hayden Winks thinks 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan actually wanted Mac Jones in the 2021 NFL draft over Lance, and that’s why Garoppolo is still around.
Lombardo then quote tweeted that sentiment with his report.
“I have heard that the #49ers’ staff has been continually underwhelmed by Trey Lance,” Lombardo posted on May 5.
Lombardo is one of the most prominent insiders in the NFL universe, so his post is at least worth considering. However, it’s also worth noting that many in the 49ers Twitter community doubted his report in the replies to the post.
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Lance’s First Taste of the NFL
When San Francisco traded up to the Miami Dolphins’ No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, it shocked fans. Garoppolo hadn’t been moved in that trade, and the team seemingly committed themselves to Lance for the future after trading three first-round picks to get him.
Despite the massive investment, Shanahan and the 49ers stuck with Garoppolo for the 2021 season, which nearly paid off as the Niners reached the NFC Championship. Somewhat expectedly, Jimmy G did get injured in that campaign which gave Lance his first appearances in the league.
The results were unsurprisingly mixed. After Garoppolo went off the field with an injury in Week 4, Lance stepped in to complete nine of 18 passes for two touchdowns and 157 passing yards. However, his full starts in Week 5 and Week 17 were less impressive.
Over those two games, the former North Dakota State star completed 31 of 52 passes for 441 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions per PFR.
The numbers aren’t great or awful. They’re decent for a rookie, but San Francisco is in win-now mode in terms of how the roster is built. Whether it’s Lance or Garoppolo, the 49ers need their QB to execute this year.
49ers GM Speaks on Garoppolo Situation
Niners general manager John Lynch hopped on KNBR for a conversation on May 2 to recap the draft and discuss the current state of the team. Lynch touched on Samuel’s trade request, but also spoke on Garoppolo.
According to Lynch, conversations are still ongoing and they refuse to just release Garoppolo, at least not yet.
“I felt like we were close in some [trade] discussions, and then the decision was made to have surgery. That just brought things to a screeching halt. People just don’t do that, even with a likelihood that everything is going to be good. We continue to get calls about Jimmy, and we, as a group, got together and said he’s too good of a player. He’s got a lot of great tape out there. You don’t just let guys like that walk out the door, and we want to either have Jimmy playing for us, which we’re all right with, or we want him to get the value.”
Lynch’s comments make sense, as most teams don’t look to trade for a player who is actively recovering from surgery. However, every day the new season approaches the more and more likely it feels like Garoppolo will stick around for the 2022 season.