A major development to watch for this season for the San Francisco 49ers is the relationship of Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance.
From the moment the 49ers made the trade from No. 12 to No. 3, Garoppolo was not a happy man. He knew that the trade signaled that his time with the 49ers is now borrowed. The same can be said for his position as the starter. Knowing that Lance is there to supplant him, Garoppolo could very well be sour and reluctant towards mentoring, and rightfully so. As of now, the two players are getting along nicely.
“Trey's real cool," said Garoppolo. "We've had a great relationship so far. All the QBs, we’ve got a big QB room right now. It’s a good group of guys, fun to be around. It’s kind of one of those things, I don't want to do anything out of the ordinary, do something that's not me. So, I just try to treat it like I normally would with anyone else. I just go about my business, just be myself and let the cards fall as they may, or chips fall as they may.”
In this response (and another you will read shortly), Garoppolo is not showing any negative attitudes towards Lance. That right there is a positive for the 49ers. However, Garoppolo right now is not looking to mentor Lance. He is not going to help Lance take his own job away. This is why the "Alex Smith/Patrick Mahomes model" was such a delusional belief. That "model" is an outlier. Garoppolo is not Smith in terms of intellect nor is he taking it upon himself to help Lance.
This is not going to be a "mentorship" relationship between the two. Garoppolo is not going to go out of his way to see to Lance's development. Right now, he isn't even thinking much of the relationship in general.
"To be honest, I haven't put that much thought into it. The relationship between me and Trey, I think it'll just happen naturally. It's not something that you want to force too much. You don't want to make it fake. Things will happen and that stuff takes time. But, I think it's one of those situations where you don't want to go out of your normalcy and do something that's not you. I just let things happen and take it from there.”
Of course, there is still time for him to be forthcoming in that sense. As he said, he is just going to let it develop on its own. I just don't envision that to be the case as it behooves Garoppolo to hold onto the starting job. He is trying to buildup his value for 2022 to ensure he has a future as a starter in the NFL.
Besides, is being a mentor even something Garoppolo wants? Benefits aside, this idea that he can or will be a mentor is ridiculous without knowing if he is even good at it or has ever wanted to mentor someone. The relationship of these two ties in hand with their performances as the season progresses.