When it comes to this year’s 49ers team, there are a few things that give me agita. The first is the fact that Robbie Gould has only hit 78% of his field goals the last two years, and he’s going to be the kicker through 2022. The second is that this team is paper-thin at linebacker, and the third is that Trey Lance is one of only two first-round quarterbacks that hasn’t signed his rookie contract yet.
I know what you’re thinking. You think that there’s still plenty of time to get it done and that there’s no reason to worry about it now. Levin Black said the same thing to me on today’s Niners Nation Gold Standard podcast. But, intellectually, I know you’re not wrong.
Practically, there’s no reason for either side to play hardball with the other. Thanks to the CBA, these deals are pretty straightforward. There are some things to quibble over, but by and large, there isn’t much to negotiate.
I also know that Lance has every incentive in the world to get a deal done as quickly as possible. If he has any designs on being the Week 1 starter, he knows he can’t afford to miss a single training camp practice. Kyle Shanahan has said multiple times that he’s watching Lance to see what he’s retained from OTAs and what he’s been doing during the layoff to make himself better. Of course, you can’t show any of that if you’re in a contract dispute.
I understand all of this. And yet, the reptile part of my brain is screaming, “Then why isn’t a deal done yet?!”
Justin Fields signed his deal in early June. Trevor Lawrence signed his deal this week. Mac Jones signed his deal this week. So if there’s basically nothing to negotiate, and Lance has every possible football reason to get to camp on day one, why haven’t both sides put ink to paper?
Immediately, my brain goes to Michael Crabtree. If you don’t remember, Crabtree held out in 2009 after being picked 10th overall because he thought he was just as good as players picked ahead of him coughcoughDarriusHeyward-Beycoughcough. In the end, Crabtree missed the first five games of the 2009 season as a result of his tough stance.
Granted, there have been multiple CBAs since then that have made it a lot more costly for rookies to hold out, but again, this isn’t the logical part of my brain that I’m thinking with here.
Life has taught me that nothing’s done until it’s done - especially when contracts are involved. While I know it’s probably all in my head; I also won’t be able to shake the dark thoughts until we get that inevitable tweet from @49ers that shows Trey Lance putting his name on the bottom line.
Other topics in today’s podcast
- Kyle Shanahan gives us insight into the team’s QB timeline this offseason
- Joe Staley, assistant coach?
- How a Colin Kaepernick/Trey Lance comparison set a lot of people off on Twitter