Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance will be competing for the San Francisco 49ers' starting quarterback position this season, but the incumbent appears to be making every effort to welcome the rookie.
According to David Lombardi of The Athletic, Garoppolo sent Lance the following text:
Lance said on the day after the draft that Garoppolo had reached out to him and welcomed him to the team.
"Yeah he sent me a text last night, and I was super thankful and grateful for that," he said. "For him reaching out, it meant a lot to me, and I'm super excited to get to work, get to meet him and to learn as much as I possibly can from him."
Niners superstar tight end George Kittle believes a quarterback competition will bring out the best in both men.
"If my starting quarterback was scared of competition, I don't know if he'd be my starting quarterback," Kittle said Friday.
"Competition’s what makes you a good football player," he added. "If you weren’t competitive every single day, fighting for your job, you’re not going to perform at your best, you're not going to perform at your highest level. And that's what football is all about."
One of the widely held beliefs about Lance when he was drafted was that he was a highly talented, if unpolished and inexperienced quarterback, and one who likely would need some time to be groomed and developed.
The Niners, if they choose to go that route, can let him sit behind a veteran like Garoppolo for a year or two, with the veteran under contract through the 2022 season.
On the other hand, if you draft a quarterback at No. 3 overall, you don't want to sit him for two full seasons. At some point, you want him to seize the starting gig. But it seems unlikely that will be right away.
Even Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan has acknowledged as much.
“It’s going to be very hard for a rookie to come in and beat Jimmy Garoppolo out. He’s a very good player,” he told reporters on April 30. “That’s why I like the situation that we are in. Now, we’ll see where Trey’s at. We’ll see how he does at OTAs. ... But Jimmy’s our quarterback right now.”