Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Jerry Rice believes 49ers seek more consistency from the QB position

Jan 26, 2022 at 10:55 AM--

A lot has been said about quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who is not expected to remain with the San Francisco 49ers after this season. However, he has them in the NFC Championship Game, one win away from returning to the Super Bowl. What if Garoppolo can carry the great 49ers organization to its sixth championship? Would that be enough to make the team's decision-makers rethink their plan?

The 49ers have Garoppolo's successor on the roster. They traded multiple first-round picks to move into position to draft Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick last April. The plan was always to have Lance sit and learn while riding with Garoppolo as far as the 30-year-old quarterback could take him.

On Wednesday, NFL legend Jerry Rice joined NFL Network's NFL Now. Andrew Siciliano asked the Hall of Fame wide receiver if Garoppolo deserves to stay with the team if he leads it to another Super Bowl appearance—his second in three years.

Rice said that is up to the 49ers organization, not him.

"I think with Jimmy G, it's been like a rollercoaster ride because there are some great throws, and then there are some throws where you say, 'Why did he do that?'" Rice told Siciliano. "I think the Niners are trying to look for someone that's a little bit more consistent, that's not going to make those errant throws like that.

"I'm not saying that Jimmy G is going to leave the Niners or whatever. They might decide to keep him around much longer and decide to let Trey Lance just advance and learn more about being a starting quarterback."

49ers CEO Jed York said last year that he has no problem paying Garoppolo while Lance sits and learns for one—even two—years. That means it's possible San Francisco at least rethinks its plan. Garoppolo is signed through the 2022 season.

"I don't know what the decision is going to be," Rice continued, "but I know one thing: He's going to be behind center this coming Sunday [against the Los Angeles Rams], and it's up to him to really make the decisions on the football field, not make really stupid plays, turn the ball over, and get the ball in the hands of his playmakers. And I think we have a chance."

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