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Jimmy Garoppolo on 49ers' Initial Trey Lance Decision: 'It Lights a Fire Under You'

Adam WellsSeptember 22, 2022

Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jimmy Garoppolo admitted to getting a rush of competitive adrenaline when he learned the San Francisco 49ers were going to move on to Trey Lance as their starting quarterback.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Garoppolo said the team's decision "lights a fire under you" as a competitor.

Even though a decision to have Lance take over as the starter in 2022 seemed apparent, there was a lot of speculation during the offseason because the 49ers didn't trade or release Garoppolo.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed the 49ers were "Trey's team" at the start of training camp in July.

There were complicating factors that made it difficult to trade Garoppolo during the offseason. He had shoulder surgery in March and wasn't fully cleared until July 26.

San Francisco didn't need to have a sense of urgency to move on from Garoppolo because his contract gave the team the ability to release him at any point before the Aug. 30 deadline to set 53-man rosters with just a $1.4 million dead cap hit.

When no trades materialized, the 49ers surprised most outside observers by restructuring Garoppolo's contract to bring him back as Lance's backup in 2022. He has a $6.5 million base salary with the possibility to earn up to $16 million in incentives based on playing time.

Lance's season came to an end in Week 2 when he suffered a fractured fibula and ligament disruption in the first quarter of the 49ers' 27-7 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

The 49ers have been incredibly successful with Garoppolo as their starting quarterback. The 30-year-old is 31-14 in 45 career starts with the team since 2017. He has led the Niners to the NFC Championship Game twice and an appearance in Super Bowl LIV after the 2019 season.

Even though Lance's injury complicates San Francisco's long-term future at quarterback, Garoppolo's comfortability in Shanahan's offense gives the team a chance to compete at a high level in 2022.

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