Kyle Shanahan Says the 49ers Will Not Have a Quarterback Competition

Here's the major takeaways from Shanahan's surprise announcement.
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Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch spoke in the 49ers auditorium on Tuesday as the 49ers reported for training camp. Here's what they said about their current quarterback controversy.

Q: How will you divvy up reps in training camp between Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance?

SHANAHAN: "I treat it like I would any other situation. Going through OTAs, what he has done, he's the best quarterback in our building right now. So we'll start out training camp that way and we have three other guys behind him. We're going to give Trey the first chance obviously to be the backup. Any time a guy is playing a lot better than the guy in front of him is when we start to split reps up and talk about it, but Trey has had seven practices with us and haven't seen him in 40 days. Not thinking about that right now. Just have Jimmy going in as our starter. We'll give all these guys every opportunity to improve. If someone ever looks like they give us a better chance to win, we'll make that decision then."

Q: So it's not a competition?

SHANAHAN: "Yeah, there's no open competition right now in terms of getting equal reps with the same group. Jimmy is coming in as the No. 1 and Trey is coming in as the No. 2."

Q: A rookie quarterback never has gone to a Super Bowl. Is that a factor in this decision?

SHANAHAN: "No, that hasn't entered my mind in all. We're looking at our situation. It's who gives us the best chance to win, and that's why when we made this trade I told Jimmy, 'I know this is discouraging and frustrating for you.' But Jimmy is a very good player, and when he's at the top of his game, there is no rookie that's going to be able to come in right away and take his job. What I've seen so far is he's getting there, and that's very exciting. It's early. We'll see how training camp goes."

Q: What about Garoppolo's OTA performance was so encouraging?

SHANAHAN: "Just how sharp he was, the rhythm of getting the ball out on time, where it was going. Even if I didn't watch the film, if I just watched his body language, how he talked to people, how he called the play, he was very clear and sharp and aggressive in what he did. It was good to see."

Q: Do you anticipate Trey Lance signing soon? What has been the hold up there?

LYNCH: "We're sure hopeful that he does. We've never had a hold out, but it always seems to go down to the wire. It's important that he is here. For any rookie, for every player, every meeting counts, every rep counts, particularly at that position. So we're hopeful and expecting that Trey will be here and certainly know the importance of him being here."

Here's my takeaways from this news:

1. It's meaningless.

Lance took some first-team reps during OTAs -- he completed a long pass to George Kittle during 7 on 7s. So he most likely will continue to receive first-team reps, even if he receives fewer than Garoppolo at first. If Lance plays well, the 49ers almost certainly will give him more first-team reps as training camp progresses. And then there will be a quarterback competition.

2. The 49ers are trying to pump up Jimmy Garoppolo's trade value.

They've made it clear they want to trade him for a first-round pick. Currently, he's probably worth no more than a sixth-round pick. So the 49ers are trying to pump up his value. Call this the pump 'n dump. We just witnessed the pump phase.

3. Lance hasn't signed his contract yet.

Lynch said he expects Lance to sign it at the 11th hour, which is Wednesday before the first training camp practice. Perhaps the 49ers were sending Lance a message that before he gets to compete for a job, he needs to sign his contract and report to the facility. If so, fair enough.