Jed York’s comparison of the current quarterback situation to Joe Montana and Steve Young badly misses the mark

Kansas City Chiefs vs San Francisco 49ers
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Earlier this week, 49ers owner Jed York made a stunning, straight-face comparison of the team’s current quarterback situation to the embarrassment of riches that the 49ers enjoyed after trading for Steve Young during the height of Joe Montana’s career.

Young arrived in April 1987, with four years left on the contract he’d signed with the Buccaneers. After four years on the bench, Young finally received an extended opportunity to play, thanks to injuries suffered by Montana. Young then became the starter and eventually won a Super Bowl — after Montana had won four.

“If Steve Young can sit on the bench for four seasons, like, Steve Young’s a Hall of Famer. If he’s willing to do it and he has the competitive drive to do it, why can’t somebody else?” York said.

Things were very different in the late 1980s and early 1990s. For starters, there was no free agency. No franchise tag. No salary cap. Young was stuck until the 49ers traded him, cut him, or made him subject to “Plan B” free agency, which was the league’s first toe in the water toward the current system of movement from one team to another.

Moreover, unhappy players largely kept their mouths shut 30 years ago. Today, there’s an ongoing revolution of players making their wishes known — and of teams respecting that.

Trey Lance isn’t sitting on the bench for four years. The 49ers didn’t invest three first-round picks and a third-round pick into a guy they planned to park for the entirety of his base rookie contract.

This narrative is less about setting up another Montana-Young transition (for starters, Jimmy Garoppolo is definitely not Joe Montana) and more about trying to conjure a trade market for Garoppolo, at a time when there isn’t one. As they wait for someone to become willing to give up something for a quarterback who just had shoulder surgery (without the team knowing it was happening), they’re trying to build leverage by creating the impression that they’re happy to keep Garoppolo and to start him in 2022, even if it means keeping Lance on the bench for another year.

Do they really think anyone is buying that? Do they think the rest of the league is dumb? Or do they think they’re smarter than the other teams?

Regardless, it’s hard to imagine anyone to give anything of value for a middle-of-the-pack-at-best quarterback who’s entering the final year of his contract at a compensation package of more than $25 million. The biggest question is whether the 49ers would actually keep him, pay him, and maybe even play him to avoid the potential indignity of having to cut him loose and get nothing in return.

18 responses to “Jed York’s comparison of the current quarterback situation to Joe Montana and Steve Young badly misses the mark

  1. Jed York has been missing the mark his whole life. Born on 3rd base and thinks he hit a triple. I wouldn’t be surprised if his parents paid kids to come to his birthday parties.

  2. Trey Lance and Justin Fields will not live up to the hope, hype and expectations of their current teams. They’ve already been crowned for what their presumed accomplishments will be. It wreaks of desperation and disappointment, not to mention a stain on the judgment of the coaches, scouts, GMs and sundry front office people who picked them.

  3. I live in the bay and I’m a 9ER fan.

    Believe me around here a lot of people think Lance is the next EVERYTHING and he’s yet to start more then 2games let alone a full season.

  4. I generally loathe the 49er organization, but there is no way the situation that the 49ers face is like the transition between Montana and Young. Both QB’s were superb in their own ways. Jimmy Hair is nothing but a spare tire at best. He does not win big games. Montana and Young feasted on other teams in big games.

  5. This clown is why the other owners wont give his team a SB win.

    Young could have been the starting QB for a number of teams, including the Eagles who tried the hardest to get him but Young wanted the job from Montana, after Walsh had promised it too him before Joe convinced everyone who the GOAT has always been. Brady is the best winner of all-time though …

  6. I don’t know for sure that it is all a farce. I think to a degree the 49ers might be willing to go into the season with Jimmy as the starter. You bring up what they gave up to get him and that’s all well and good but at the same time it’s not really what you gave up towards an investment, it’s what that investment is worth now. They’ve had a year with Lance now and maybe he’s just not as good as Jimmy at the moment. He played while Garoppolo was hurt and yet when he was ready, Garoppolo was the one that led them to the NFC championship game. Absent a deal they’re comfortable trading Jimmy away for, why force something if they think the product on the field might not be as good?

  7. I salute therealraider for what is the best comment I have seen on here in a long time.Clever and true.

  8. Well they drafted Lance over Jones because of optics, and it’s working out so great why not deal with Jimmy G the same way?

  9. York is a clown.
    49ers dont have even a semblance of a HOF QB on their current roster.
    Wish york would go away.

  10. I was born in the late 80s and can’t even imagine a professional sports league without free agency. That’s crazy.

  11. JimmyG isn’t Montana,Trey Lance isn’t Steve Young, and Jed York isn’t even close to being Eddie DeBartello.

  12. All I got from this is somehow Jimmy Glass is now Joe Montana.

    Maybe JG hurt his shoulder trying to drag around all of those rings.

  13. @jarbag

    I do think it’s funny that you specifically singled out Lance and Fields despite Wilson and Lawrence having, objectively speaking, seasons just as bad or even worse than Fields.

    I can’t imagine why.

  14. Joe Garoppolo vs Steve Lance! Love it. Trying every angle to make another team bite on the trade bait.

  15. Hey John.
    Yea Kyle.
    We’ve created quite a grease fire with our QB situation.
    We sure have John.
    We gave up two ones and a three for a question mark and now we’ve alienated Jimmy.
    What do you suggest we do, John?
    How bout we let Jed address the situation? I bet that would help.
    Great idea John!

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