Colin Kaepernick, 2 other options for 49ers at quarterback for 2022

Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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With uncertainty looming at the quarterback position for the 49ers, it’s anyone’s guess who will lead the franchise moving forward.

We’re nearly two weeks into the new NFL season, and the free-agent market has been nothing short of spectacular.

Specifically at the quarterback position.

It can be an unsettling feeling not knowing who will be the leader of your franchise. Currently, that identity belongs to every San Francisco 49ers fan in the country.

Will the front office roll the dice with last year’s starter, Jimmy Garoppolo, or is it a new era? The Trey Lance era. Or could the Niners actually mix things up with a familiar face?

One thing is for sure, up until now: It’s anyone’s guess.

49ers quarterback option No. 1: Trey Lance

Lance, he’s the next heir.

Or is he?

The No. 3 overall pick from the 2021 NFL Draft sat on the sidelines his rookie season, patiently waiting for his shot all year despite the opinion of many he should’ve been the starter by midseason.

Some have gone a step further touting that he would’ve beaten the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship game, sending this team to the Super Bowl.

That’s a lot confidence put into a rookie who has seen the field only a few times since being drafted. Why does it feel like head coach Kyle Shanahan doesn’t share that same confidence? San Francisco certainly didn’t balk when it cost three first-rounders to acquire Lance.

So, what’s the problem?

Why wasn’t Garoppolo traded early on eliminating all doubt that this is indeed a new era? Why keep almost $27 million tied up on a player who isn’t your guy moving forward when you’ve got holes to fill on the field?

None of it makes sense, but at some point the question has to be asked: What exactly is keeping Lance off the field, and what’s keeping Garoppolo on it?

It’s certainly not a lack of talent. We all know what the second-year quarterback is capable of. He had an impressive college career. And Lance showed flashes of brilliance in his Week 17 win against the Houston Texans.

So, let’s ask the even-more difficult question: Is the possibility of shattering the confidence of your future starter truly worth a couple of draft picks?

Or is Lance not the guy?

Is the possibility of seeing Garoppolo win a championship elsewhere looming over the decision to move him? Who knows? Maybe none of these questions are important. Maybe a deal to flip Garoppolo is in place. Maybe Lance has already been handed the starting job.

Because this is his year. Or is it?