The 49ers shocked the NFL world when they restructured Jimmy Garoppolo's contract to keep him with the team this season. After both Garoppolo and the Niners' top decision-makers openly discussed how he would move on from the organization throughout the offseason, both sides decided it was best to prolong their partnership at least a little bit longer. However, former 49ers left tackle turned analyst Joe Staley admitted that he has one big concern about the Niners locker room heading into the season.
In a radio appearance on Papa & Lund on KNBR, Staley, who was Garoppolo's teammate in the final three years of his career, discussed his biggest concern about having Jimmy G serve as Trey Lance's backup this season. Staley explained that he's worried about how the veteran players on the team, especially those who have gone on multiple postseason runs with Garoppolo, will react when Lance goes through growing pains in his first year as the starter.
"The thing that I'm worried about is that he's a first-year starter in the NFL, and he's going to have his rookie mistakes, some situations that don't look that great, and what I worry about with the team this year is if he goes out there and doesn't perform perfectly, are the guys in that locker room all of a sudden going to be like, 'we have a team that's built right now to win, and we have a quarterback that has taken us to where we want to be,'" Staley said.
He went on to add, "I personally believe Trey is going to do really well this year. I believe that the dimension that he brings to this offense is going to open it up, and I think Kyle has kind of been waiting for that deep threat down the field." However, Staley admitted that he expects Lance to have some ugly games this season, which will pressure on veterans like "George Kittle, Arik Armstead, Jimmie Ward... to keep that locker room together."
Here is Staley's full answer:
This might not be smooth pic.twitter.com/D1P05bLsRi— KNBR (@KNBR) September 6, 2022