As the 49ers begin the on-field portion of their OTA program on Monday, the doubts surrounding Trey Lance from national media members persist. This time it comes courtesy of Peter King.
During an interview on the Rich Eisen Show, King was asked about the contract situation of Deebo Samuel.
“I think that John Lynch is basically trying to let some time pass, and for everybody to just sit back and relax,” responded King. “In my opinion, if you do a contract with Deebo Samuel you can guarantee him a lot, you do everything, but it can’t be a lot in this year.”
“I think, as of today, they are going to probably have to hang on to Jimmy Garoppolo,” said King. “Not only because nobody out there is offering to trade much for him. Do they really know what they’ve got in Trey Lance?”
Given that the comments made publicly by John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan have all pointed in a positive direction, it appears they do.
“The great news is we’re extremely positive, as I’ve said, and Kyle’s said, on Trey’s progress,” stated Lynch during the NFL Owners meetings in March. “This offseason, he’ll have ample opportunity — as will Nate [Sudfeld] — to get plenty of reps. And we’re looking forward to that process.”
The following day, Kyle Shanahan struck a similar tone when asked if what he’s seen of Lance was enough for him to take over as the starter.
“That’s why we looked into trading Jimmy,” responded Shanahan. “We obviously believe Trey can be the starter, and we are ready to do that.”
All signs this offseason have pointed towards Trey Lance as San Francisco’s starting quarterback in 2022. After all, the 49ers used three first-round picks to add Lance to their roster. In addition, Jimmy Garoppolo said his goodbyes following the season. As Shanahan pointed out, the team was actively trying to trade the veteran quarterback before everything stopped when Garoppolo underwent surgery on this throwing shoulder.
When this was brought up to King, he told Eisen, “You and I both think that Lance is going to start opening day. The question is, what if after the first month of the season you are 1-4 and Trey Lance is playing poorly. Do you just say, ‘well ok, we are going to take our medicine’? No. You say, ‘this is one of the reasons why we have to think seriously about keeping Jimmy Garoppolo. Because we are not sure about Trey Lance, and we are not willing to throw a season away.’ That’s how I look at it and that’s the way I’d handle it if I were them.”
Having Garoppolo on the roster for 2022 as the backup isn’t the worst possible scenario for San Francisco. However, having him replace Lance if the team gets off to a poor start would be.
Let’s not forget that San Francisco was 2-4 through the first six games of 2021. They stuck with their quarterback and were able to make it to the NFC Championship Game.
If Lance is to be the future of the 49ers, they need to go all-in with his development. He sat and watched last year and worked on getting ready for the NFL on the scout team all season. Lance led them to a critical victory in week 17 to keep their playoff hopes alive.
If not now, when?
The good news is the veterans are now back in Santa Clara, and we will be able to talk about how they performed at practice starting Tuesday.