49ers QB Trey Lance injury short and long-term impact

49ers QB Trey Lance injury short and long-term impact

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

By selecting Lance last year, the 49ers gave themselves the greatest advantage in the sport. A quarterback on a rookie deal. Of course, that is only an advantage if the quarterback pans out, but, theoretically, they were in an excellent position to use the financial flexibility Lance’s contract gives them to stack the deck further around him.

They have not lost that freedom because of Lance’s injury but losing him for the season means that two years of San Francisco having a quarterback on a team-friendly contract will have passed without them experiencing any kind of on-field benefits.

The third year of the deal is the time when there would usually be the first whispers about a prospective extension, but the 49ers are highly unlikely to want to commit to anything with Lance without seeing at least a year of productive performances, increasing the chances of them waiting until the fourth year, or even the season of his fifth-year option before a making a decision.

San Francisco must also now consider how to protect itself against the possibility that Lance returns and is not capable of playing at a high enough level for a team of the 49ers’ caliber. The prognosis for him recovering and getting back to football shape is good, but his play remains a complete unknown.

Barring a return to the Super Bowl, the prospect of Garoppolo coming back for 2023 looks a slim one, given what the 49ers have invested in Lance.

As such, the 49ers will need to find themselves a new insurance policy. Brock Purdy, to his credit, earned a place on the roster as the last pick in the draft, but going into 2023 with the former Iowa State star as the sole alternative to Lance would not be prudent on the 49ers’ part.

There is no shortage of veteran stopgaps and reclamation projects set to hit the open market next offseason, while the 49ers will also need to consider taking a day-two quarterback from what looks to be a deep draft class to give them another possible long-term answer if Lance does not pan out.

Lance’s injury will not shake the belief in the 49ers’ organization that he will be a success but, after the events of Sunday, the Niners are all too aware of the value of having a strong backup plan.

This News is Published from Google Alert – Trey Lance.

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