Trey Lance being named the starter for the San Francisco 49ers over Jimmy Garoppolo could end up being a mistake by the team, Stephen A Smith has claimed.
The San Francisco 49ers had a pretty big decision to make this past offseason, whether or not to officially move on from Jimmy Garoppolo and put second-year quarterback Trey Lance in as the starting quarterback to officially usher in a new era for the team and the offense, or stick with the guy who has taken them to a Super Bowl and a further NFC Conference Championship game in the past three years.
Both methods have their pros and cons, and both have had success for other teams. Patrick Mahomes sat for a year with the Kansas City Chiefs before becoming their starter, whilst Aaron Rodgers sat for three whole years behind Brett Favre with the Green Bay Packers.
In the end they decided to go with the first option, naming Lance the starter this preseason whilst structuring Garoppolo’s contract to give the 49ers more financial breathing room, but still ensuring that this will more than likely be his last season with the team.
Trey Lance, not so tres-bien
However, the Lance era hasn’t exactly got off to the best start, as he went 13/28 (completing less than 50% of his passes), only threw for 164 yards, didn’t throw a touchdown pass and threw an interception, which can be explained somewhat by the fact it was near-monsoon conditions in Chicago, but when you consider that last year he only completed 57.7% of his passes, it doesn’t fill you with great hope.
And it makes you wonder whether or not the decision to move on from Garoppolo, even with his limitations, was the right one.
That topic was discussed on ESPN’s First Take, and on there Smith believed that if Lance was to carry on playing the way he did in Week 1 for the next few weeks, we would ultimately see that the 49ers made a mistake when it came to naming Lance as the starter so early.
“It might end up very well being a mistake. We don’t know yet. Now, I’m not gonna judge Trey Lance on what we saw in the monsoon in Chicago… The point that I’m trying to make, we just don’t know, we don’t really, really know.
“Obviously if they believed in Jimmy G enough, they wouldn’t have gone through all of this, we get it. But he did take him to the Super Bowl, or rather he was the quarterback rather that was there when they went to the Super Bowl obviously he was in an NFC Championship game, I get all of that.
“But what I’m saying to you is this, because of the youth of Trey Lance, and the fact that he doesn’t seem to have come along as quickly, based on what they’ve been saying in training camp, preseason, and all that. I’m saying we might find, I might look at Swagu [Marcus Spears] and Ryan Clark in five or six weeks and y’all might say ‘damn it is a mistake.’”
The problem for the 49ers, is that they can’t really go back on their decision now, as putting Garoppolo in will be devastating to Lance’s confidence, whereas the smarter thing would have been to hold him back a little bit longer to make sure he was 100% right and ready to go.
So this is a situation that the 49ers have to make work, or their whole season could end up being a total disaster, not something you want when you have an elite, Super Bowl-ready defence to work with.