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Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Fowler: 49ers still indicating to Trey Lance he’ll start in 2022

Apr 17, 2022 at 10:11 AM--

In March, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported that the San Francisco 49ers have given second-year quarterback Trey Lance the "full impression behind the scenes" that he will be the team's starter in 2022. The starter of the past four-and-a-half seasons, Jimmy Garoppolo, remains on the roster. That could change before Week 1 as the team continues to seek a trade partner for the veteran quarterback.

According to Fowler, things haven't changed much from that initial report, even as we inch closer to the 2022 NFL Draft and Garoppolo remains. The ESPN reporter reiterated that the 49ers still hope to part ways with Garoppolo and ride with Lance under center.

"The market hasn't been overly hot right now, largely because of Garoppolo's shoulder surgery," Fowler recently said via Bleacher Report. "Teams don't know when he'll be able to throw; it might be later in the summer. And so, can he pass a physical? These are questions that teams are sort of asking right now. We mentioned the Panthers earlier in relation to [Baker Mayfield]; they've done their homework on Garoppolo too. They've looked at all options, and Garoppolo is one. So that's something to watch for down the road. Right now, San Francisco is prepared to hold on to that $26 million salary, at least as a placeholder for now. They believe they can do all of their business with draft picks and free agents until they sort all of this out.

"Meanwhile, Trey Lance has been working out in the Bay Area. I'm told that he's got indications, at least informal indications from the team, that he'll be the guy next year. He's set to be that. Now, whether that means that they would still keep Garoppolo and that could change the dynamic, possibly. But right now, Lance is going to be the starter."

San Francisco invested a lot in Lance, trading a haul of draft picks, include this and next year's first-rounders, to draft him last year.

The 49ers could have released Garoppolo and his hefty salary but made it clear they don't intend to give him away. So far, they have been able to get creative with the salary cap and keep the quarterback on the roster.

"We can't upgrade our team and get some good picks until people feel good about [Garoppolo's recovery]," head coach Kyle Shanahan said in March. "I'm all right with that. I mean, we're not just getting rid of him to get rid of him. Jimmy's a good player that we all really like as a person and as a teammate. And we're going to wait to see whatever helps the Niners the most."


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