Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

What’s the best situation for QB Trey Lance and the 49ers?

Rohan Chakravarthi
May 18, 2023 at 5:50 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers have entrenched themselves in quarterback controversy for yet another offseason after starter Brock Purdy suffered a torn UCL that is expected to sideline him for six months, while the team signed former Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold to compete with 2021 No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance.

There have been several rumors that have floated around regarding Lance's future with the 49ers after the arrival of Darnold, but several of them were squashed when the organization elected against moving their former first-round pick during the 2023 NFL Draft, keeping both quarterbacks for the beginning of the offseason program.

As organized team activities(OTAs) begin, Lance and Darnold are fighting for what could be the Week 1 starting job, depending on Purdy's health, raising questions for how the quarterback situation will play out in a crucial year for San Francisco in regards to their championship window.

That leads to the question: what is the best situation for Trey Lance and the 49ers?

Lance has faced an unfavorable situation since entering the NFL: a finger injury derailed his rookie campaign when he was the backup to Jimmy Garoppolo, while a fractured ankle erased his sophomore season after starting the first five quarters of the year.

However, with Purdy entering this offseason recovering from injury, Lance has another opportunity to prove himself in a competition with Darnold, and it seems likely that one of the latter two start Week 1 for the 49ers, given the former's six-month injury timeline and Kyle Shanahan's estimation of a return between six to eight months during the NFL annual meetings.

Now, Lance has a steep task ahead of him to earn the starting quarterback spot, given what Purdy accomplished through his short tenure as the top signal-caller, but a strong offseason mixed with a good start to the season may prove to be enough to retain his role, should his play not waver.

How has the process gone along so far?

According to Shanahan, the quarterback is in a much better place than last offseason. The coach admitted that the former No. 3 overall pick was still hampered during last year's offseason by the finger injury he suffered during the preseason of his rookie campaign.

While some have questioned the 49ers' approach to placing Lance in a competition with Darnold, who has struggled in the NFL with 55 starts under his belt, the former shouldn't have an issue winning the job if his talent can be met with consistency, the main issue plaguing the young North Dakota State product through limited action.

But, if Lance doesn't win the starting job for Week 1 against Darnold, or isn't given a fair shot to win the battle, the quarterback should look to request a trade, as his time in San Francisco is all but over.

The 49ers shouldn't value Lance's draft status two years into his career, but the unfortunate path that has cost him significant game experience should be factored in.

Despite his unspectacular career thus far, Darnold has received praise from top analysts such as NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, as reports have surfaced that an environment like the 49ers could be the best scenario to reviving the 25-year-old quarterback's career.

Regardless, the 49ers' quarterback situation is certainly one to monitor, both in OTAs and in training camp, as the decision for San Francisco's Week 1 starter could change the futures of multiple quarterbacks on the roster.
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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1 Comment

  • Scott's Bennett
    You are the only ones making controversy out of nothing burgers. They have 3 QB's who will compete in the off season. That is how good coaching works you dipsheet!
    May 22, 2023 at 5:53 AM


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