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What Trey Lance means for Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers quarterback situation

The 49ers have picked a QB to build around for the future. But what does it mean for Jimmy Garoppolo in the short term?

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 speaks with head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers during the NFC Divisional Round Playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings at Levi’s Stadium on January 11, 2020 in Santa Clara, California. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers have found a quarterback they hope they can build their franchise around for the next decade. A month after trading up from the No. 12 pick to the No. 3 pick, the 49ers selected North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance.

The big question now is when he’ll take over the starting role. Traditionally, a top ten quarterback will be starting sooner than later. A big exception to that was in 2017 when the Kansas City Chiefs traded up to No. 10 to pick Patrick Mahomes and then sat him for most of his rookie season. He took over the starting role in his second year and the franchise has not looked back.

Are the 49ers looking at this as a blueprint? Jimmy Garoppolo is signed through the 2022 season and while he is due some sizable salaries, the 49ers could still fit him under the cap with relative ease for the 2021 season. Given Trey Lance has limited experience overall, and has only played one football game since the COVID-19 pandemic began, it would not be at all surprising to see him sit in his rookie year.

DraftKings Sportsbook will have odds for Week 1 starting quarterbacks later this offseason. Assuming the 49ers have not traded Jimmy Garoppolo, he’ll be a sizable favorite to be the team’s Week 1 starter. The team is a Super Bowl contender as they’re currently situated. Garoppolo is solid when healthy, but a big reason the 49ers are preparing to move on from him is health concerns.

For the short term, it makes sense to hang onto him while Lance prepares himself to take over the starting role. It’s worth fading that bet for 2022, but for the coming season, don’t be surprised to see Jimmy G starting at quarterback in the early going.