49ers training camp: 1 key battle to watch at each position
By Peter Panacy
49ers training camp battle: Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Trey Lance at quarterback
OK, let’s face it. You’re probably moderately interested to see if Josh Rosen can beat out Nate Sudfeld to be the Niners’ third-string quarterback in 2021.
While somewhat provocative, the obvious 49ers training camp battle to watch here is for the starting job under center between the incumbent, Jimmy Garoppolo, and the high-profile rookie, Trey Lance.
San Francisco 49ers
There are clear and understandable arguments both ways.
For Garoppolo, despite his serious injuries in 2018 and 2020, he has an understanding of Kyle Shanahan’s complex offense. And despite his limitations, his near-4,000 passing yards in 2019 en route to a Super Bowl appearance show he can be effective if the team is built up enough around him.
Would it be premature to toss in an inexperienced rookie, Lance, into a win-now fray when he’s had just 318 pass attempts and one full starting season at the college level?
That said, Lance has all of his upsides and is the clear long-term preferred option for San Francisco. A No. 3 overall draft pick wouldn’t be used on him for any other case, and there have been some glowing reviews about him already this offseason.
If Lance wins the job, or at least ties with Garoppolo, the Niners would be in a position where they could immediately get out from underneath Jimmy G’s massive contract, saving that money up to build around Lance while he’s on his cheap and affordable rookie deal for the next four or five seasons.
Regardless, what happens under center will be the thing to watch during camp, which kicks off on the field on July 31.