Joe Montana: 49ers should keep Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance isn’t ready

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The greatest 49ers quarterback of them all has some surprising views on the current 49ers quarterback situation.

Joe Montana told Kevin Clark of that the 49ers should keep Jimmy Garoppolo, and that Trey Lance is not ready to play. Montana said he isn’t just basing that on his own observations, but has talked to 49ers players who tell him the same thing.

“I think you keep Jimmy until you find somebody else,” Montana said. “I don’t think Trey’s ready to play yet, myself, and after talking to some of the players. It’s one of those things that, if you can keep Jimmy healthy, he plays well enough to get you here.”

The 49ers obviously wouldn’t have traded three first-round picks to draft Lance if they didn’t expect to move on from Garoppolo, but Lance has not yet proven that he’s better than Garoppolo. Until he does, Montana doesn’t think Garoppolo should go anywhere.

44 responses to “Joe Montana: 49ers should keep Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance isn’t ready

  1. Is Lance ready in February 2022? No. Will he be far more prepared in September 2022? Yes. Will he have growing pains and need to adjust to the speed of the game? Yes. But without those first team reps, he never will. The Niners can’t afford to keep Jimmy and also sign a team around him. They need the cap space they’ll gain by moving him.

  2. Reps are what Lance needs. Plain and simple. And you don’t get those sitting on the bench. For the price of keeping Jimmy, why not get bring in Brady for a season if they can wrangle him from the Bucs?

  3. I know Joe never had to worry about a salary cap, but surely he understands that if the Niners kept Garoppolo’s contract they wouldn’t be able to put a decent roster around him anyway

  4. Lynch should be out of a job if he spent 3 first round picks on a player who needs to sit for two years and may or may not ever be “ready”. Sink or swim time.

  5. I might be reading it wrong but it sounds like Montana is saying Trey Lance isn’t the guy. He didn’t say “Keep Jimmy until Lance is ready” he said “keep Jimmy until you find someone else”, as in someone who may not even be on the team yet.

  6. Jimmy G is awful. The desire to hang onto a sub-par QB baffles my mind. The 49ers won a couple of playoff games despite Jimmy G’s performance. They would have won a SB if it wasn’t for Jimmy G’s awful accuracy on the deep ball. They have studs everywhere on that team, except for Jimmy G at QB. They have to go with Lance, or, admit they made a mistake and move on if that’s how they really feel. Sitting a player is really the best way to get them the experience they need.

  7. Could not agree more.

    A side comment – it looks like the guy the Patriots took was the best QB in the draft. It will be interesting to see if he digresses or not and if Carr improves or not with Josh McDaniels moving to Las Vegas.

  8. Joe’s not a fan of those athletic mobile back up QBs that breath down the starting QBs neck for their job.

    Strictly speaking, Joe’s not wrong. Garoppolo is right now the best quarterback the 49ers have under contract. But the problem is that Jimmy’s best isn’t good enough. If Lance is to develop, he’s going to need reps and go through some growing pains. It’s not the same as when Montana was QB and Young was his back up. The team can bare with continuing on with their future hall of fame QB that still puts up an MVP performance (1989 & 1990) while the heir apparent learns while holding a clipboard for (Young sat for 4 years). But Garoppolo isn’t putting up MVP numbers to justify not letting Lance learn as a starter and taking some lumps.

  9. Truer words have never been spoken.

    Maybe Shanahan is the problem? Anyone ever think of that? What makes him such a great head coach or playcaller anyway?

  10. This wouldn’t be an issue if the nfl had a developmental league where raw rookies especially qbs could get live reps in real games

  11. If the #3 pick in the first round is not ready to play after sitting for a year then alarm bells should be ringing.

    If Lance is a bust you want to find out sooner rather than later.
    Will he need to sit for 2 years?
    If thats the case, play him in 2022 and if he stinks, then daft a QB in 2023 and have a competition.
    Treat 2022 as a learning year and look to see how he progresses.

    Don’t drag it out for 4 years like other bad teams do.

  12. So when is he gonna be? You have to throw him in there and see what you have before the rookie contract window expires so you can either draft another one and trade for one if he’s not the guy.

  13. If Tartt holds on to that interception, Jimmy G and the 49ers are in the Super Bowl again.

  14. Absurd to think that a first round pick that caused kings ransom in draft picks is NOT Ready and NEEDed Reps. Look at the low first round pick in New England, took his team to playoff in first year.
    49er front office just need to draft better. They are in draft hell for the next few yeas as the Rams. But as least Rams is playing for the Superbowl and the 49er are at home watching

  15. It’s not that Lance necessarily can’t start, but SF’s goal is the SB and Lance is not ready for that. I don’t even think Jimmy can take them their unless they limit his role to caretaker as he’s prone to too many mental lapses. If SF was like the Jags in rebuild mode then they probably would be starting Lance and shipping Jimmy. No QB has taken his team to the SB in his first year and few have done it in their second year, so let’s have some perspective before we start labeling Lance a bust. That being said, SF did give up far too much to get Lance, IMO. You only do that for consensus can’t miss players like Manning or Luck.

  16. It all comes down to whether the 49ers want to go the “win now” route or the “build for the future” route? Win now and you better stick with Jimmy G. If you’re willing to risk 2022 and possibly 2023 then go with Lance.

  17. Ouch! The 49ers could and should have drafted Mac Jones. He was ready to play on day 1 and could run that Shanahan’s offense on a rookie contract.

  18. bucktoothedwizard says:
    February 11, 2022 at 1:23 pm
    This wouldn’t be an issue if the nfl had a developmental league where raw rookies especially qbs could get live reps in real games

    Or you could not graft a QB who has only played a few games at a Division II level as the 3RD pick in the draft

  19. If Trey Lance isn’t ready this coming season after what was given up to get him, then Lynch and Shanahan should be unemployed.

  20. I think if he were being completely candid, Joe would continue that even though Jimmy is the best option right now, the 49ers still need to move on because of the cap and draft considerations. It was a nice vote of confidence in an outgoing QB from a team legend, since he’ll wind up starting on one of the dozen or so teams where he would be a certain upgrade next season.

  21. Josh Allen was a project, too, when the Bills drafted him. And he stunk his rookie season. Not only did he need to learn how to play in the NFL, but the Bills needed to learn how to maximize his talent. Could be that the Niners need to throw Lance into the deep end of the pool; let him make his way and let the SF coaching staff learn how to use him. Easier said than done, I know. Unlike the 2018 Bills, the 2021 Niners are a good team. Nobody wants the backslide after making the conference championship. But the transition from the drop-back passing offense that Garoppolo runs to the RPO-ish offense that Lance will probably run is going to be tough no matter what.

  22. Mac Jones was as ready as any rookie QB. Maybe the 49ers drafted the wrong guy for all those picks?

  23. Justin Herbert, Mac Jones, Joe Burrow, Kyler Murray: all showed they belonged in their first year. Lance apparently not.
    Lynch and Shanahan fell in love with the wrong guy…

  24. Lance is ready. There’s a definitive ceiling for this team with Jimmy starting. It’s very simple, Jimmy is too expensive in relation to his ability level. Kyle drafted Lance with his dream offense in mind, it is time. Brady isn’t coming out of retirement to the 49ers. Rodgers isn’t coming to SF either. Watch out for Aaron to go to Miami. McDaniel runs the Shanahan offense, which is a great scheme fit. Miami has draft capital from SF. It’s put of conference. Tua isn’t a threat to Aaron. He could stay or they could package him to GB. They can have Love and Tua compete and under contract with 5th year options. Buys GB time to see if one of them can be the guy, if not when the QB class is better in 2024 they can put themselves in the driver’s seat. Lance will be good. IF Brady wants to come back he would find a comfortable landing please in Vegas and they could use some leadership. That market is going to destroy so many young pro careers.

  25. It’s the “after talking to some of the players” part of this statement that would have me worried if I were a 9ers fan.

  26. Joe Montana isn’t one of those guys who shoots off his mouth to get attention. If he says Lance isn’t ready, I’d listen. The q

  27. The question is whether he isn’t be ready or will never be ready. The lack of college playing time and against relatively weak opponents could explain the delay but begs the question of how wise was it to take that big a risk in drafting him. Or is this a matter of the current regime not willing to admit, even to themselves, that they may have screwed up. The Rams made the collosal mistake with Goff, tacitly admitted by dumping at a cost and moved on. Now they’re in the SB. Oh, yeah, to those guys who think Montana doesn’t understand the salary cap, he sold the financial equity firm he help founded for more money than he made during his entire NFL career.

  28. The funny thing is when I saw Lance in college, the guy he reminded me of physically was a young Joe Montana. Either people forget, or they’re too young to remember but Joe Montana was a great athlete. However, it was the mental stuff that made Montana great. Lance didn’t show that, but he’s very young. Anything is possible. I wouldn’t give away the farm for a guy that didn’t show NFL QB skills, but the guys making those decisions are a lot smarter than me. I hope.

  29. Trade Jimmy G, start Lance, pry Mariota away from the Raiders as an insurance policy.

    You can’t roll with Jimmy G again after that playoff performance.

  30. I love Joe but Trey Lance is already better than Garoppolo despite his lack of Reps.. Right now he can make throws that Jimmy will never make due to lack of arm strength. He may struggle but what QB doesn’t including the great Joe Montana? The kid will be fine and the Offense will be exponentially more dynamic with Lance at the helm.. Mark my words..

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