San Francisco 49ers: ESPN analyst predicts major changes at QB this season

Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance

ESPN analyst Jeff Saturday has been giving his views on the quarterback situation for the San Francisco 49ers between Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance. 

To say that this offseason has been awkward for the San Francisco 49ers might be something of an understatement. The team were looking to move on to Trey Lance as their quarterback, which given that they traded up to get him in the 2021 NFL Draft and gave him a few minutes last season to develop him, sort of made sense. 

There was just one problem, it meant moving away from a veteran quarterback in the form of Jimmy Garoppolo, something that has been done plenty of times before around the NFL and is always going to happen when a team drafts their quarterback of the future. 

The team was more than willing to let him go, giving Garoppolo’s agents permission to look for another team for him to play on in 2022, however that trade never occurred, with the 49ers instead restructuring his contract that keeps him on the roster for 2022 but that keeps him as a free agent in 2023.

The right decision?

The decision to move on to Lance is a bit of an odd one on the surface, as a member fo the 49ers, Garoppolo has gone 31-14 in the regular season and taken them to a Super Bowl and a further NFC Conference Championship game.

The issue is his numbers have not been the greatest, never throwing for more than 4,000 yards in a season and being an injury risk every year that he’s been there, which may have been the reason that they want to move on from him, even though there’s no doubting his production when he is healthy.

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Contrast that to Lance who in his brief stints last season could only complete 57.7% of his passes and only threw for 603 yards in his six games, two of which were starts.

And it’s numbers like that from both men that has made Jeff Saturday think that, even though Lance has been named the starter, he might not hold onto that job for long.

What has he said?

Speaking on ESPN’s Get Up (starting at the 0:24 mark), Saturday claimed that given the makeup of the roster, the team might not be good in the hands of a rookie when the rest of the team is in ‘win now’ mode:

Video: Jeff Saturday explains the Trey Lance/Jimmy Garoppolo dynamic in San Francisco

Given Lance’s performances last season, and the reports that his work in practice hasn’t been stellar either, it wouldn’t be a surprise to think that he might struggle in 2022 as he continues to adjust to the NFL. And if that’s the case, then a move back to Garoppolo who can do a better job of guiding them through might be the way to go.

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