NFL Network’s Jim Trotter is the gold standard when it comes to reporting, and he recently discussed the 49ers quarterback situation. Trotter stated the Niners' transparency with Jimmy Garoppolo was far as expectations and what their plans were is why there wasn’t a disconnect in the quarterback room this past season:
My understanding was, in the exit meeting, they told Jimmy they will continue to be transparent. And because he is so respectful and beloved by his teammates, if they can do right by him as far as landing him into a spot where he wants to be and he has a chance to win, they will do that.
The NFL Combine runs from March 1 through March 7. That’s when we can expect the rumors to begin heating up as far as where Jimmy will land. At the combine, every decision-maker is in attendance, and that’s when teams begin to speak to agents and get a feel for what’s going to happen during free agency.
How do the 49ers feel about Trey Lance? Here’s Trotter:
They’re comfortable with him. They like him. Everything that they expected from him, they saw — even some of the rookie struggles that young guys might have.
He was in consideration to start going into the season until he injured his index finger on his throwing hand. And there was even a discussion about possibly starting him in that final regular-season game. But ultimately, the team decided that Jimmy had led them to that point and they were going to stay there, and that’s what they did.
It’s not too much of a surprise that the 49ers were considering starting Lance in the season-finale, considering the reports about how severe Garoppolo’s thumb injury was.
Now, if Lance were to start Week 1, that would have been a story. The decision to keep Garoppolo only to start Lance would have looked foolish for the 49ers. Kyle Shanahan mentioned how he knew it was getting “close” to the point where Lance would start when the team was 3-5.
I’d say the takeaway here is that if the team was close to starting Lance this past season from Day 1, they’d be happy with where he is come the start of the regular season in 2022.
“Nobody is expecting him to be Aaron Rodgers. But there are a number of teams that are looking for quarterbacks. Some of them [the teams] feel that if you can bring in a veteran quarterback and surround him with parts, that you may have a chance to make a push for the playoffs.
I don’t expect the market to be robust, but I do expect there to be a market. The question is, do you do it before free agency or do you wait until the draft?”
Waiting for the draft to move Garoppolo when you could use the $25 million for a couple of free agents feels like a waste. We shall see how desperate a team gets during free agency.