49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Tuesday that it is “going to be harder” for Trey Lance to win the starting quarterback job this year and that’s not the outlook most people expected to see when the 49ers traded up to get in position to draft Lance in 2021.
Lance sat behind Jimmy Garoppolo as a rookie before opening last season as the starter, but he broke his ankle in Week Two and opened the door for 2022 seventh-rounder Brock Purdy to close the season as the starter. Purdy played well enough to get the team into the NFC title game and he’s the favorite to start as long as his right elbow heals well after surgery.
The 49ers also have Sam Darnold on hand as an option if Purdy isn’t healthy enough to play and the state of affairs led to a question for 49ers CEO Jed York on Tuesday. The question had to do with whether he had any regrets about spending major draft capital for Lance given the possibility that he won’t be the team’s starter.
“I wouldn’t change anything that we’ve made about the decision with Trey,” York said, via 49ersWebzone.com. “I think Trey has a chance to be great, but it’s a bonus when you get somebody at the end of the seventh round that ends up coming in and being very impactful for your team. I’ve said it multiple times with quarterbacks, whether it was Alex [Smith] and [Colin Kaepernick], watching Jimmy, and Jimmy and Trey, and now Brock and Trey and Sam, you can’t have enough good quarterbacks.”
York said the team’s goal is to win a championship rather than to say “not to say that this draft pick or this decision was the perfect decision” and pulling that off would likely put an end to questions about second thoughts on the personnel front.