On Thursday, Matt Lombardo of FanSided caused a ton of chatter online when he stated that, per his sources, the San Francisco 49ers have been “continually underwhelmed” by the development of now-second-year quarterback Trey Lance.
On Friday, Lombardo joined 95.7 The Game and was asked to elaborate on his tweet.
“This all stems from a conversation that I had with an executive who’s pretty tight with people within the 49ers organization,” Lombardo explained. “Then following up with a couple of members of the coaching staff. The feeling around San Francisco, dating back to last summer during training camp, was a little bit of disappointment over the Trey Lance that arrived in training camp versus what they saw on film at North Dakota State from an arm-strength standpoint, from a deep-ball accuracy standpoint.
“And then you look at when he got into games this season. He didn’t exactly set the world on fire. Now, I know he had the injury. I know that [he was] a rookie, and it certainly takes time for NFL quarterbacks to develop, but the 49ers gave up a lot to get Trey Lance.
“And the questions that I keep hearing about the deep-ball accuracy and the arm strength in practice, some whispers about how quickly he is understanding the playbook, and all of those things, the general vibe is this might not have been what the 49ers hoped they were getting when they gave up all that draft capital last year to go and get him.”
Lombardo notes that Jimmy Garoppolo remaining on the roster complicates things. Added Lombardo: “Lance is going to have to show up this spring and this summer ready to prove that he can make that leap. At least, that’s just what I’ve been hearing.”
In 2017, the 49ers originally traded for Garoppolo after he backed up Tom Brady on the Patriots for three seasons. Garoppolo led the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance in 2019, the team’s first time in seven years.
But injuries in 2018 and 2020 as well as underwhelming play have since put the 30-year-old on the trading block.
During his rookie season, Lance showed he still has raw potential, playing five games and throwing 603 yards with his limited playing time. He is expected to be the main man behind center.