49ers need to fully commit to Trey Lance
Early on, it made sense to bring Lance along slowly. But that argument was predicated on Jimmy Garoppolo staying fully healthy.
Now, the context has changed.
Trey Lance is the future. No doubting that. The Niners didn’t send off first-round draft picks in 2022 and 2023, plus a Round 3 selection next year, for a glorified backup who can run designed packages in spot appearances.
The 2021 season is far from over, and San Francisco still has the talent and ability to make a Wild Card push, perhaps even more.
But it’s safe to assume the more important element now isn’t to push for the playoffs at the expense of Lance gaining the necessary experience. Instead, the 49ers need to do whatever benefits Lance the most, as NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco pointed out:
"The top objective this season for the 49ers is to maximize their win total and make a push for the playoffs. But, maybe as important, is to set up Lance and the organization for success in the years to come. Lance’s performance against the Cardinals could prove that his remaining as the starter is the solution for both of those goals. At this point, what’s best for Trey Lance is also what’s best for the 49ers."
This approach all but ensures Garoppolo’s tenure as the Niners’ starter has come to a close, earlier than originally anticipated, especially if he misses an extended period of time.
Even then, it’s also abundantly clear San Francisco has to focus all of its efforts on Lance instead of trying to squeeze whatever it can from Garoppolo.
This day was coming. It just arrived sooner than most would have guessed.