The San Francisco 49ers are avoiding drama among their QBs with Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo open to helping each other.
The San Francisco 49ers shocked plenty of folks earlier in the week with their decision to retain quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on the active roster with a restructured contract to keep him in house for the 2022 season. After weeks and months of trade rumors and an emerging belief the Niners would cut him outright without an interested trade partner, GM John Lynch turned the tables and kept last year’s starter around.
Second-year quarterback Trey Lance has already been named the starting quarterback going forward, so Garoppolo, before the restructure at least, was looking like an expensive malcontent and a potential source of drama. Some young quarterbacks might thrive with competition, but NFL history is riddled with failed players who were given too short of a leash in the first place.
For anyone worried about further drama emanating from the Niners’ quarterback room at this stage, however, Lance responded to reporters’ questions on Thursday with all the right responses—at least in terms of what coaches and fans want to hear. Lance was asked how he heard about Garoppolo’s return (he was given a heads-up by the team’s leaders) and what he thought about it.
"I was super excited. Like I said, he’s done it. And for him, I’m going to use him as a huge resource for me throughout this whole entire year. He’s always been willing to help me out, so I’m super excited for it."
If Garoppolo knows he’s going to be free to pick his own place next year, it would behoove him to look like a model teammate in his final season with the 49ers. That could end up serving the organization well knowing there’s the NFL’s best backup waiting in the wings behind a franchise face starting for the first time. There’s a floor in case of emergency but there’s also a mentor who knows what he needs to do going forward.