The restructuring of Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract, while strengthening the quarterback room, also opens the possibility that he will eventually become the team’s starting quarterback once again.
On today’s Gold Standard podcast, Levin Black and I discussed whether Trey Lance should get the entire season to develop this year.
Except for the blessed few, quarterbacks need time to develop. From adjusting to the speed of the game to learning coverages to getting comfortable in their own offense, quarterbacks have a lot to learn.
Some of that can be helped by sitting behind an established starter for a while, but eventually, everyone needs to get under center to truly learn how it’s done.
Now that Jimmy Garoppolo is back, the prevailing narrative seems to be that he is an insurance policy against injury and ineffectiveness by Trey Lance. The thinking is that if Trey Lance struggles, Kyle Shanahan can always bench him and turn things over to Jimmy Garoppolo to try and win the Super Bowl.
Whether that would actually work is clearly debatable, but let’s just put that to the side for the moment. If Lance is benched, is that what’s best for his development? Most people are willing to wait at least a year before drawing any definitive conclusions about a quarterback’s career. Just look at Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson for proof. Lawrence tied for the league lead in interceptions, and Wilson looked downright terrible at times last year, and no one is calling them finished products yet.
In a weird way, Lance is almost penalized for being drafted to a team in a Super Bowl window. Normally no one would have a problem with the number three overall draft pick playing through some ups and downs in his first year as a starter.
Now because the 49ers have a great roster and because they brought back Jimmy Garoppolo, the single most inexperienced top-five draft pick in NFL history will likely have less than ten games as a starting quarterback to prove himself.
The other almost unspoken part of this plan is that people advocating for Garoppolo Insurance LLC assume that Jimmy can come in and get the team back to an NFC Championship Game or a Super Bowl. That is far from a given, even with the success the team has had with him in 2019 and 2021. A lot of fluky stuff had to go their way for those things to happen. Sure, the question becomes easy to answer, guaranteed that the change would result in a sixth championship for the 49ers. What if it would only result in a playoff birth? Or a loss in the divisional round? That’s where things start to get murky.
So, I put it to you: Do you want to see Trey Lance start the entire season even if he struggles? Or would you rather turn things over to Jimmy Garoppolo if the team starts 3-5 like they did last year? Vote in our poll and/or leave us a comment below explaining your choice.
Do you want Trey Lance to start all season long?
This poll is closed
Yes, he needs the experience
No, we are in a Super Bowl window
Other topics in today’s show
- How Jimmy Garoppolo has outsmarted the 49ers the entire offseason (3:19)
- Why did part of Matt Barrow’s Jimmy G. report get deleted? (4:36)
- The team isn’t being fair to Trey Lance (13:15)
- Potential scenarios where Jimmy G. could enter a game (16:16)
- How the Niners could troll everyone about their QB situation (17:03)
- Narratives about the team that aren’t true (19:46)
- Why YAC might not be as important with Trey Lance (27:03)
- Trey Sermon’s release teaches us something about the front office (28:44)
- How do the 49ers hit so often on lower-round picks but miss on higher ones? (33:37)
- Why Brock Purdy beat out Nate Sudfeld (38:21)
- Lynch and Adam Peters have a press conference today (40:10)