Trey Lance is now the new quarterback for the 49ers.
Or is he?
If you judge the draft capital and where he was taken, then starting Lance Week 1 makes sense. The 49ers have to get his growing pains started immediately and help him work through it. Plus, it would be a waste of a year of his rookie deal if the 49ers didn't get a head start with his development.
However, Kyle Shanahan made it sound like Jimmy Garoppolo is not only here to stay, but will continue to be the starting quarterback for the 49ers.
"I want Jimmy to be here and I want this kid to be brought along," said Shanahan. "I want to see how he does and if it turns into a competition, it turns into a competition. I'd be excited about that if he showed he was ready for it and stuff, but we know where Jimmy's at. He hasn't played football in a year. He hasn't been to an OTA. I'd love to get him out here. It'd be very hard for me to picture a situation Jimmy's not here on Sunday, because that would be, I think, very stressful for us because Jimmy is a very good player and I think we can win with him. So, we'll play that by year, but I expect Jimmy to be here and I'd be surprised if he wasn't."
Will Trey Lance be the starter for the 49ers?
As of now, he is not. Garoppolo is still the starter. Shanahan does make a valid point in his quote. Lance hasn't seen action, whether it is live action or practice action, in eight months. It will be almost a year once he hits training camp, so who knows how he will pan out early on.
However, I wan to focus on the "competition" aspect of what Shanahan said. It is not a matter of "if" it will turn into a quarterback competition. I believe it will certainly be that. A quarterback competition makes all the sense in the world between Lance and Garoppolo, especially since any trade market for Garoppolo looks all dried up.
Since there is no longer a market for Garoppolo, the 49ers will happily keep him to push their rookie. If Lance looks better, which I expect, or is even on par with Garoppolo, then I bet he will be named the starter. But for now, this is still Garoppolo's job to lose for this upcoming season, which means he has no room for error. 2021 will be Garoppolo's audition tape for any team's looking to inquire his services since he will eventually be shipped or cut from the team.
Any errant play from Garoppolo, or the most likely scenario will be he sustains an injury, then Lance will be thrown into the spot and hopefully ready for the bright lights.