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49ers' Trey Lance: Jimmy Garoppolo's Return 'Makes the QB Room All That Much Better'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 1, 2022

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Trey Lance is happy to see Jimmy Garoppolo back with the team after the veteran quarterback restructured his contract with the San Francisco 49ers following an offseason of trade rumors.

"It makes the QB room all that much better," he told reporters. "Another great resource for me, a guy that's played in this offense, a guy that's done it, who's played a lot of ball. So for me, my mindset is Jimmy's going to be a huge resource for me, as he always has been, since draft day."

Given that the 49ers decided to transition to Lance as the starting quarterback this season, the trade rumors surrounding Garoppolo weren't a major surprise. And if hadn't been for his shoulder surgery in March that prevented him from throwing for much of the offseason, Garoppolo might have been dealt.

Instead, those trades didn't materialize, and the team and veteran quarterback agreed to a restructured one-year deal worth $6.5 million guaranteed that could max out at $16 million if he hits certain bonus thresholds.

Garoppolo could have pushed for his release to seek a starting gig elsewhere after trade talks fell through. However, the veteran signal-caller told reporters it wasn't the sort of approach he was willing to pursue.

"That just wasn't the way I wanted to go," he said. "There was a thought of that at one point, trust me, there was, but that came and went. I don't know, things just kept falling into place, I'm one of those people that I don't really want to ruffle the feathers too much here and there, and kind of just want to go with the flow, and that's kind of where training camp was going, and I was happy with it. Like I said, things worked out, I'm happy now."

Now, Garoppolo will find himself as Lance's backup as the 2021 first-round pick looks to establish himself as a franchise quarterback. And Lance said Garoppolo's return to practice—he hadn't been working out with the team while his future in San Francisco was being decided—was drama-free.

"It was super normal actually," he told reporters. "You guys probably wouldn't even believe it, it was fun to have him around. He's a high-energy guy, in the huddle, outside of the huddle, in the locker room. whatever it is, he's a great guy to have around, and I'm super glad he's back."

For the Niners, Garoppolo offers valuable insurance in the event that Lance struggles, but he could also bring back draft assets during the season if another team suffers injuries at the quarterback position and needs a veteran upgrade. Garoppolo holds a no-trade clause in the restructured deal, though, so he can block any moves to undesired locations.

Garoppolo also secured a no-tag provision in the reworked deal, meaning he'll be able to depart as a free agent in the offseason should he so desire. So more than likely, it will be the last season Lance and Garoppolo share a quarterback room.

But sharing one this season won't be an issue for the two men.

"Me and Trey, honestly, I know a lot of stuff gets made in the media and s--t like that," Garoppolo said, "but we have a good relationship, so everyone can say what they want, but what we went through last year is very similar to this situation, so it's not like we haven't done it before."

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