Where It Started
On Thursday, April 29th the San Francisco 49ers selected Trey Lance with their 3rd overall pick in the NFL draft. Since the Niners selected the North Dakota State product, the question has loomed large, “Will Jimmy G be the starter?”. So far, it does not look promising. The pressure is on.
Poor Preseason For Jimmy Garoppolo
Two AFC West preseason matchups, two losses for Jimmy G and the 49ers. Garoppolo threw 3/3 in what was a quick appearance against the Kansas City Chiefs. He followed that up with a dismal stat line against the Chargers. With 50% completion, averaging under three yards per pass, and a pick; this was all in one drive. Head coach Kyle Shanahan did not allow Jimmy G to see the field for the remainder of the game.
Trey Lance, on the other hand, has shown promise. In two appearances, Lance has a 3:1 TD-INT ratio and is averaging nearly five yards more per pass than Jimmy G. Although he has been sacked six times in his two games, that can largely be attributed to playing behind the 2nd string OL. Lance’s numbers aside, Jimmy G still isn’t making a strong case for himself to be the starter and the evidence has been piling up.
What Happens Next?
Shanahan had a motive for drafting a QB in the first round this year. It cannot be denied that his faith in Jimmy G is not 100%. In all, the QB has 23 missed games over the last 3 seasons. It appears all of that missed time has had an effect on the chemistry with the offense this preseason. If this carries over into the regular season, we could see a change of scenery for the 29-year old.
The obvious move would be to trade the QB. Maybe grab a pick or two from a QB needy team like Washington or Houston. Houston’s GM, Nick Caserio, has New England ties. With Watson likely on the move, it could be a good fit. Not to mention, Jimmy Garoppolo carries a $27,000,000 cap hit for 2022, per Spotrac. If the Niners are going to make the most of Trey Lance’s rookie deal, they will need to shed that number.
First-round QBs always make their way onto the field. Rivers replaced Brees, Rodgers replaced Favre, Mahomes replaced Smith. Shanahan is eager to put Lance on the field, at this point, Lance is inevitable. Whether or not a move happens in 2021 or during the next offseason, the writing is on the wall for Jimmy G and he knows it.