The San Francisco 49ers have handed Trey Lance the keys to the offense.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters Tuesday that he and general manager John Lynch spoke with Jimmy Garoppolo to make the team's plans clear.
"We have moved on to Trey," he said. "... This is Trey's team."
The comments merely confirm what almost everybody already knew.
The Niners didn't give up multiple first-round picks to move up and select Lance in the 2021 NFL draft only to have him ride the bench for two or three years.
The writing was on the wall for Garoppolo the moment the franchise made the selection. He's in the final year of his contract and is clearly no longer in San Francisco's long-term plans.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on July 20 that the 49ers gave permission to Garoppolo's agents to begin looking for a trade. That would be their ideal outcome since his departure would give Lance a clear path and help them shed at least some of his nearly $27 million salary-cap hit while getting something of value back.
The 30-year-old's offseason shoulder surgery is likely depressing his trade market.
"We think Jimmy would have been traded if the surgery didn't happen," Shanahan said Tuesday. "He needed to do it; there's no ill will there at all."
The Cleveland Browns eventually settled for a conditional 2024 draft pick in return for Baker Mayfield, and they assumed a majority of his 2022 salary to facilitate the deal. San Francisco isn't exactly negotiating from a position of strength.
At this point, it might make more sense for teams to simply wait and see whether the Niners release Garoppolo outright. Are they really going to keep him on the roster when cutting him will save $25.6 million?
Regardless of what happens with Jimmy G, Shanahan made the team's quarterback hierarchy clear.