Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Trey Lance praises ‘big bro’ Jimmy Garoppolo’s handling of 49ers QB situation

Jul 28, 2022 at 1:59 PM--

Trey Lance is the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. That job belonged to Jimmy Garoppolo since a mid-season trade in 2017 sent him from the New England Patriots to the Bay Area.

Garoppolo's time with the 49ers appears to be over. He remains on the roster, but even that seems to just be a formality at this point. Garoppolo will likely be on another team when the 2022 regular season officially kicks off in September.

The 49ers invested heavily in Lance, trading up to the No. 3 overall pick last year to select the North Dakota State product. Unlike his first-round peers, Lance didn't get much playing time during his rookie campaign. He started just two games, spending most of the season as Garoppolo's backup and understudy.

Garoppolo could have made the situation very awkward, knowing that San Francisco had just drafted his successor. Instead, the veteran was the first of Lance's new teammates to reach out to the young quarterback after the draft selection became official. The two grew close during the offseason, with Garoppolo embracing the mentor role rather than hindering the youngster's development.

With the writing on the wall, the 49ers have excused Garoppolo from training camp. He reported with his teammates on Tuesday, undergoing a physical, but won't practice. However, that has not impacted the relationship between Lance, now the starter, and Garoppolo.

"I said what's up to Jimmy yesterday [when] he was in here, and Tuesday for his physical," Lance told reporters after Thursday's practice. "So yeah, it is what it is. It's nothing weird at all. Like I said, I've never had anything I could possibly say that's bad about Jimmy. He's been a big bro to me since the day I came in. He could have made things hell for me, honestly, last year. He didn't. He helped me out with everything. So I'm super excited to see him healthy, super excited to see him throw again, and super excited to see what he does."

Lance has grown into a team leader, made easier with Garoppolo now out of the picture. The second-year quarterback was asked what he learned from Garoppolo about being a leader.

"Everything, yeah," Lance responded. "He was a great leader on this team. He handled himself the right way, the way he went about his business. He was locked in every day. Just a true professional."

For now, the Garoppolo trade options seem non-existent. The 49ers hope a quarterback need develops elsewhere in the NFL, increasing the odds that the team can get something in return for its former starter.

Kirk Larrabee contributed to this article.

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