How and When the 49ers Will End Their Relationship with Jimmy Garoppolo

The narrative has shifted.
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The narrative has shifted.

Two months ago when the 49ers first drafted Trey Lance, the word out of the 49ers facility was that Jimmy Garoppolo would be the starter and Lance would sit and learn on the bench for a season, maybe even two.

Now, the word is Lance might play as a rookie.

What will the word be word be two months from now?

"I do believe, at some point, we're going to see Trey Lance this upcoming season because everything that I've heard in the spring is how impressive he's been," said NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo

He went on: "I know we talked about he needs some time to sit and watch," Garafolo added, "and the thought is maybe he'd have a redshirt season. I'm not so sure, and I'm not so sure that doesn't mean that they can't compete with Trey Lance."

Sounds like Lance has blown away the coaches, and they just might fast-track him to the field.

Here's how I see this playing out.

1. The 49ers will showcase Jimmy Garoppolo during training camp and the preseason to pump up his trade value.

We'll hear reports about how good Garoppolo is playing and how healthy he is, and the purpose will be to get the Patriots or Texans to bite and trade for Garoppolo. They probably won't bite.

2. Lance will dazzle during the preseason and win the quarterback competition.

The difference between him and Garoppolo will be clear to the coaches, the players and the fans, and the decision to start Lance will not seem controversial. He simply is the superior talent.

3. The 49ers will trade or release Garoppolo before Week 1.

The 49ers almost certainly won't pay him $27 million in 2021 to be a backup, and he almost certainly won't renegotiate his contract without an extension. So he'll hang around Santa Clara until Lance takes his job in a couple months, and then he'll take his talents elsewhere.

Garoppolo most likely will not play another game with the 49ers.