NFL Training Camp 2021: San Francisco 49ers remain firm with Jimmy G as the starter, Lance as backup

San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo
San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo
Walter Sharp

The San Francisco 49ers made a huge splash this off-season when they traded up to the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. That led to the 49ers drafting former North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance.

Before trading up, the 49ers made an important move by informing Jimmy Garoppolo that he would remain their top option at quarterback. Kyle Shanahan laid all quarterback questions to rest on Tuesday.

Shanahan announced that Jimmy Garoppolo is the No. 1 quarterback and Trey Lance is No. 2 on the 49ers' depth chart. Lance has yet to sign his rookie contract with San Francisco, joining Zach Wilson.

Why are the 49ers sticking with Jimmy Garoppolo over Trey Lance?

San Francisco 49ers QB's Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance
San Francisco 49ers QB's Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance

San Francisco has remained true to their statement about Jimmy Garoppolo, but there has to be a reason why. Trey Lance is likely to sign his rookie contract. That's one of the many questions that the 49ers can check off the list.

Kyle Shanahan didn't walk around the question. He answered it clearly and shut down any speculation about who will be their starting quarterback. That could have a lot to do with Jimmy Garoppolo's contract.

Jimmy Garoppolo will make $24.1 million during the 2021 season. It's a lot of money to pay someone to sit on the sidelines. San Francisco is in the same situation that the Atlanta Falcons are in with Matt Ryan - why pay the quarterback a large sum to watch the game?

That doesn't mean Jimmy Garoppolo's place is untouchable. If Garoppolo struggles and Lance continues to improve, the 49ers will have to make a change.

San Francisco gave up a lot to land Trey Lance. The 49ers don't have a first-round draft pick until the 2024 NFL draft. If Jimmy Garoppolo folds and Lance is a bust, Kyle Shanahan could be heading towards the unemployment line.

There's an immense amount of pressure on Kyle Shanahan. He needs Trey Lance to play well. That's most likely the main reason why Jimmy Garoppolo remains the starting quarterback.

Kyle Shanahan isn't going to risk his job by throwing Trey Lance out there if he's not ready. Lance is in good hands in San Francisco, and when his number is called, he'll perform to the best of his ability. Patience is a virtue, and the 49ers need to be patient before starting Lance.

Edited by Diptanil Roy


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