Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

7 quarterbacks 49ers could sign to be Trey Lance’s backup

Marc Adams
Feb 24, 2022 at 12:45 PM--

Tom Brady. Aaron Rodgers. I know. I'm sick of hearing about them, too. Rodgers isn't going to be traded to San Francisco. It's not even that plausible. Would Green Bay trade its Hall of Fame quarterback to the team that just knocked them out of the playoffs? Let me help you. No!

And Brady? Well, I already shared my thoughts on Brady ending up with the 49ers. Spoiler: I don't think it will happen either.

And if 49ers fans haven't been through enough, now there is talk about the 49ers possibly keeping Jimmy Garoppolo and having him start one more season. Why is it that 49ers fans are taken on quarterback rollercoasters each offseason (and some during the season)? It's making me tired. I think I'll go lie down.

I'm not a gambling man, but if I was, I'd bet on Trey Lance being the starter in 2022. No, he may not be ready quite yet, but he will be. He's enormously talented, has great coaches, a creative scheme, and from all accounts is extremely intelligent, all while possessing the drive to be great.

If Lance will be the starter, who will be his primary backup? Here is a list of seven potential quarterbacks we might see sitting behind the young signal-caller (in no particular order):

Tyrod Taylor

Taylor seems to make the most sense, especially considering the hiring of Anthony Lynn to the 49ers' offensive staff. Lynn and Taylor were together with the Bills and the Chargers, and are believed to have a good relationship.

Taylor has a lot of experience as a starter, and as a backup, and could be a great mentor to Lance. Taylor is an 11-year veteran who was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2015. This seems like a really good option for the 49ers, and I would expect San Francisco to pursue signing Taylor once free agency opens.

Marcus Mariota

There are several people predicting the 49ers will try to sign Mariota. I'm not sure where the rumors are coming from, but I can understand the interest. Mariota, a seven-year vet, has a ton of physical talent. He has started 61 games, so he understands the ups and downs that accompany that job. However, Mariota has had problems, at times, staying healthy. So that could be a factor in whether San Francisco is interested, or not. Taylor and Mariota are both really intriguing, though.

Nate Sudfeld

I really wouldn't expect Sudfeld to be the 49ers' primary backup quarterback. Sudfeld has been in the league six years but has never started a game. So he actually has fewer starts than Lance. I can't see Kyle Shanahan making him the backup.

But he is already with the team. And he knows the offense. That has to count for something, right?

Colt McCoy

Here's where things take an ugly turn. Before November 2021, no one would admit to wanting McCoy. And I think it's safe to say, very few do now. But if the 49ers sign McCoy, at least they don't have to face him, and get embarrassed again. And think of how much better DeMeco Ryans' defense would be after facing McCoy every day?

I know, it's a bad idea to disrespect Colt McCoy. But I'll take my chances. I don't want him, and I don't think Shanahan will either.

Now watch him be the one they sign.

Mitchell Trubisky

Put down your weapons. I'm not the one suggesting this. That would be Bart Scott of ESPN.

"I'd go get Mitchell Trubisky," Scott said. "You think about him and Trey Lance, having the same type of skill set, and you give Trey Lance an opportunity, but if he's not ready, you still have a veteran quarterback there where you can still try to win some games. And he gives you a unique opportunity to play because of his footwork, and because of his ability to be a dual-threat quarterback."

It would be ironic, though, if the 49ers signed Trubisky, only five years removed from trading the Bears the second overall pick so they could draft him. Trubisky was a disaster in Chicago, but so was just about every other quarterback that's been there. Could Shanahan turn Trubisky into a serviceable backup? After all, Shanahan did win games with Nick Mullens.

Frankly, I'd rather have Trubisky than Sudfeld or McCoy. Or the next guy on our list.

Joe Flacco

It's true that the 49ers were very interested in bringing in Flacco to back up Garoppolo last season. Flacco decided to sign with the New York Jets instead. I don't see this being a good fit, and I doubt the team will go down this road next month. Sorry, Flacco. San Francisco only has room for one QB named 'Joe.'

Jimmy Garoppolo

Yea, I said it. But I don't believe it. Regardless of reports that the 49ers may elect to keep Garoppolo, I just don't see it happening. Shanahan and John Lynch were able to keep the team focused and united, despite the small rumblings of a quarterback controversy. If they bring Garoppolo back—as a starter or backup—it will be much harder to maintain the chemistry they had last season. It only worked because both quarterbacks were humble enough and professional enough to be patient. That likely would not happen a second season in a row.

In 1987, Bill Walsh brought in Steve Young to replace Joe Montana, push him, or serve as insurance if Montana couldn't return from his back injury; no one knows. The team dealt with it in 1987. But when they came back in 1988, and Walsh still hadn't made a decision on who his quarterback was going to be, it became a problem. That team went on to win the Super Bowl, but only after Walsh made a decision and stuck with it.

Trey Lance will be the starting quarterback in 2022. The question now is, who will be his primary backup?
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.

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