Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Jay Glazer: 49ers ‘enamored’ with Trey Lance’s development

Feb 16, 2022 at 9:49 AM--

If (or when) the San Francisco 49ers decide to part ways with Jimmy Garoppolo, it will say a lot about the team's faith in Trey Lance. The 21-year-old quarterback would likely become the starter in 2022 after spending most of this past season as Garoppolo's understudy and leading the scout team.

"I'm going to be ready to go Week 1, without a doubt," Lance said last week. "I'm super excited for the opportunity. I feel like I learned a lot. I'll continue to learn. But yeah, excited to get it going again."

Jay Glazer sat down with NBC Sports Bay Area and shared what he's heard from inside the 49ers building, and it sounds like the team has confidence that, with some hard work this offseason, Lance could be ready to take over.

"I've heard great stuff about him, honestly," Glazer told Matt Maiocco as part of an interview for the 49ers Talk podcast. "I've heard they love him. They're enamored with him. He does some things in practice that make you go, 'Oh my goodness.' But he's young. I think they did the right thing.

"I think halfway through the season, they were almost tempted to go with him. Then Jimmy just started playing better and better and better and better and better. I think they lucked out by him getting hurt, so they couldn't force him in earlier."

Earlier this month, head coach Kyle Shanahan admitted that he at least considered switching from Garoppolo to Lance after the 49ers' 3-5 start.

"When we were 3-5, that was kind of the breaking point where I knew it was getting close," Shanahan said. "I know everyone else thought it was there, which I agreed it was getting close to there. But once we won that game and went to 4-5 and ended up winning four in a row, I thought we had a chance."

Lance started Week 5's contest against the Arizona Cardinals while Garoppolo was sidelined with a calf injury. The younger quarterback suffered an injury of his own in that game—a left knee sprain. That left him inactive for the next game, a Week 7 contest against the Indianapolis Colts.

After that, Lance played just five total snaps until his Week 17 start against the Houston Texans.

It's hard to make any judgments from a rookie who played just 178 snaps and had two starts. If this is Lance's offense moving forward, what can we expect to see in 2022?

"You'll have a different offense because, obviously, you can run with him also," Glazer said. "You can move him out an awful lot. I shouldn't say a different offense; different play from the quarterback position. They're still going to run the ball like crazy, without a doubt. They can't go away from that."

The 49ers like Garoppolo, but his limited skill set and $26.95 million salary-cap figure make him difficult to keep. That's why the team traded up to select Lance with last year's No. 3 overall pick. Lance's cap hit is just $7.75 million. If he can be equally effective, that leaves more money for San Francisco to spend on keeping its core players together for years to come.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Glazer below.

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