The San Francisco 49ers like what they have seen from Trey Lance this offseason as he prepares to take over as the team's starter.
On Sunday, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler described the second-year quarterback's progression on SportsCenter:
"There's been a lot of speculation about his readiness sort of behind the scenes, but from what I'm told, he's worked really hard on his footwork. He's worked on his throwing motion, tightening things up, and that the 49ers have been generally pleased with all that. In fact, he worked so hard last year he actually had to take some rest earlier this offseason to make sure he wasn't over throwing because he had thrown so much in predraft, thrown so much with the team. And so now he feels like he's in a good place where he's got a better command and he's trying to sort of navigate the chaos of 11 defenders coming at you.
"That's really been the focus for him, I'm told, the last few weeks. And they've been pleased, they liked how he looked in the minicamp setting. And so, Jimmy Garoppolo remains available. [Lance is] likely to start regardless; he's sort of gotten informal indications that he'll be the guy and he's proceeding as so."
The 49ers selected Lance with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 draft after giving up three first-round picks to move up from No. 12. Though he made only two starts last season when Garoppolo was injured, it appears the North Dakota State product will get a chance to play full-time in 2022.
Lance provided only a glimpse of his abilities as a rookie, finishing with five touchdown passes, two interceptions and a 97.3 quarterback rating in six appearances. He added 168 rushing yards and a touchdown on 4.4 yards per carry.
He has apparently shown even more on the practice field, according to Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle:
Pat McAfee @PatMcAfeeShow
"Once Trey Lance gets a lot of reps just watch out because some of the things I've seen em do in practice mind boggle me" ~<a href="https://twitter.com/gkittle46?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@gkittle46</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PMSLive?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PMSLive</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FTTB?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FTTB</a> <a href="https://t.co/CAw2OzTGvI">pic.twitter.com/CAw2OzTGvI</a>
It could allow him to thrive in Year 2, whether Garoppolo is still on the roster.
Garoppolo has been the 49ers starter when healthy over the past five seasons, leading the team to two NFC title games and one Super Bowl appearance. He has still been on the trade block throughout the offseason as the team looks to move forward with Lance.
"I expect him at some time, most likely, to be traded, but who knows? That’s not a guarantee," head coach Kyle Shanahan said last month.
The biggest holdup is Garoppolo's shoulder, which required surgery earlier this offseason and has kept him off the field. Teams have been unwilling to trade for the veteran until they see him back to full strength.
The 49ers will be patient with any deal, although it seems Lance will be QB1 regardless.