It was 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan’s turn to speak to the media at the annual NFL owner’s meetings Tuesday morning. As you might expect, the topic of quarterbacks came up.
Shanahan didn’t outright name Trey Lance the starter for 2022, but, based on his words, it seemed like Lance would be the guy:
“That’s why we looked into trading Jimmy, because we obviously believe Trey can be the starter and we’’re ready to do that.. But if we can’t upgrade our team in another way we’re just gonna get rid of a good quarterback because we have other quarterbacks on our roster.
Quarterbacks are really hard to come by. Some teams don’t have any at all. The fact that we have three that we’re happy with, that is a good thing. You always want to upgrade your team. We have all guys that are capable of starting. Jimmy’s done a great job for us. We brought Trey here to be that eventually. I think that’ll be sooner than later.
Jimmy gets his surgery…and we can’t upgrade our team by getting some good picks until people feel good about that. I’m all right with that. We’re not just going to get rid of him to get rid of him. Jimmy’s a good player that we all love as a person and as a teammate. We’re going to wait to see until whatever helps the Niners the most.”
When danced around the question when asked whether there would be a quarterback competition if Garoppolo is on the roster come training camp saying he hasn’t thought that far ahead.
Shanahan lays out the 49ers’ plan in his answer. Jimmy’s not going anywhere until his shoulder heals. Once that happens, the team is hopeful that the market picks up for him, and a team comes calling for Jimmy’s services.
Shanahan saying “some teams don’t have any at all” is why he believes the Niners can afford to be patient. Injuries happen. So do surprise retirements. We’re in March. There’s a long, long way to go until September. A lot can change, and that’s what San Francisco is hoping.
While it’s easy to be pessimistic and point fingers at whose fault this is, there’s a reasonable scenario where the 49ers end up receiving the draft compensation they desire for Garoppolo while Lance gets all of the first-team reps this offseason.
The plan didn’t go the way the team initially had hoped, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen eventually. Shanahan’s tone should give fans reassurance that Lance will start and, at some point, a Garoppolo trade will happen.
Part of the reason that’s true is based on communication. Shanahan said, “we don’t do a lot of talking in the offseason. Jimmy is not the most communicating guy.” Compare that to Lance, where Shanahan said, “Trey is a guy I talk to all the time.”