Reason No. 2: 49ers would waste another year of Trey Lance on a rookie contract
Plenty of fans and analysts alike, including Grant Cohn, argued the Niners would have been better off parting ways with Jimmy Garoppolo not long after the deal for Trey Lance was made, subsequently letting Lance play his rookie season and go through all the growing pains rookie starters experience.
With a talented roster around him, however, Lance probably wouldn’t have experienced anywhere near the kind of frustrations other first-round quarterbacks a year ago underwent, such as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Trevor Lawrence, the New York Jets’ Zach Wilson and the Chicago Bears’ Justin Fields.
But that’s in the past now, and San Francisco appears to be giving Lance the reins for 2022.
Adding Matt Ryan, however, would delay that for another year, effectively meaning the 49ers cut off two years out of a possible five in which Lance could have been playing on his affordable rookie contract, a timeframe when the aforementioned stockpiling of talent could have been prioritized.
Sure, Lance proverbially “learning the ropes” his rookie season might have had its merits.
Speaking to KNBR 680 some months ago (h/t the Santa Rosa Press Democrat), Hall of Famer Steve Young knew a thing or two about being a talented long-term backup, supporting fellow Hall of Famer Joe Montana. And while Young felt one year “watching” helped, the rest of those years as QB2 were a waste of time:
"First of all, you learn by watching. I get that. But for me, for my career, those were lost years. What I learned watching was amazing, but I didn’t need those years. I look at those as kind of maybe one year to kind of really get a handle on things, but those are lost years for me."
The Niners adding Ryan would force Lance to watch for yet one more year. They’ve already asked their top investment from 2021 to do that already.
They shouldn’t do it again.