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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Jerry Rice on 49ers’ Lance-Garoppolo situation: ‘Let them compete’

Jul 7, 2022 at 7:47 PM--

What happens if Jimmy Garoppolo remains on the San Francisco 49ers roster when training camp kicks off later this month? Head coach Kyle Shanahan stated that if the veteran quarterback is still part of his roster, he expects Garoppolo to practice.

"I'll think about that when that day comes," Shanahan said last month. "But [if] Jimmy's under contract with us, and he's healthy, right now, I would see him coming to practice unless we traded him."

The 49ers' brass insists they are willing to hold onto Garoppolo during the 2022 season if they don't receive an agreeable trade offer for the quarterback. The options have nearly evaporated with the Carolina Panthers, one of the last potential Garoppolo suitors, trading for Baker Mayfield this week.

Holding onto Garoppolo would be financially costly. It might also create an awkward situation within the 49ers locker room. Most expect Lance to be the Week 1 starter. But, should he struggle early, players might start wondering why the team's starter of the last four-and-a-half seasons is observing from the sideline.

Kirsten Moran of 95.7 The Game and Nevada Sports Net caught up with an NFL and 49ers legend, Jerry Rice, and asked about the Lance-Garoppolo situation (h/t Alex Espinoza). The Hall of Fame receiver is participating in this weekend's American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament at Lake Tahoe.

"I don't actually know what's going to happen there [with Lance and Garoppolo]," Rice told Moran. "But the thing is, they should put the best guy on the field. So, Jimmy G just had surgery. He's not 100 percent right now, so I don't know if he's gonna be the guy or if Trey Lance is gonna be the guy."

Garoppolo started 15 games last season, leading the 49ers to their second NFC title game appearance in three seasons. Of course, San Francisco traded up last year to select Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick, making the inexperienced 22-year-old quarterback Shanahan's hand-picked successor to Garoppolo.

"Let them compete," Rice continued. "Bill Walsh always opened the door for competition. Let them compete and the best guy should be the starter."

49ers players report to training camp on July 26.

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