Remember when I said that the most likely outcome of the Jimmy Garoppolo saga was going to be him playing for another team? Good, me either. Garoppolo stayed in San Francisco and was going to be the world's best-paid bench quarterback. Or at least he was.
Lance's injury turned out to be season-ending. This is a huge blow for the San Francisco 49ers and Lance. Or is it?
The obvious answer is Trey Lance. The overall third pick in the draft, the 49ers obviously drafted Lance for him to be their future franchise quarterback. The other answer is the 49ers and their fans. Lance needs time to develop and this team with an elite defense was a great balm to help him improve and make mistakes. Lance will be back next season ready to pick up where he left off, but missing an entire season is a shame. The other people who lose are the people who drafted Lance in their fantasy football league.
Well, for starters, Jimmy Garoppolo. (For starters, get it? nevermind.) Garoppolo took over the reins and the 49ers immediately won a game and gave him his confidence back. It also gave him further appreciation for the job he had lost.
“I don’t know, it’s really just a better appreciation for the fans and the atmosphere. I sound like an old guy saying this, but when I was young, I really didn’t appreciate that part of the game. I was so locked into football and what’s happening on the field. And you need to have that. But there is a sense of, you got to smell the roses a little bit and look around.”
The other winners? the San Francisco 49ers and their fans. Yes, I included them in bost the winner and losers. Lance indeed has the higher ceiling as a player. A much higher ceiling. That development takes time, however, and with Garoppolo, the Niners have a team that can easily get back to the playoffs this season. I am not saying Lance could not have led them to the promised land this season, but with Garoppolo, they know what they have. Garoppolo gives the Niners a "win now" mentality. The other part of that equation I haven't touched on is the spite factor.
Garoppolo made it clear as possible while being polite that he was not happy being relegated to the bench for a rookie. Garoppolo has every reason to give a proverbial (and silent) middle finger to the front office by taking this team as far as he can. Few things motivate people more than the spite of proving people wrong. Ask Michael Jordan.
The other winners include Jeff Garcia and Mina Kimes for increased chatter.
Others might see this as smart planning on the part of the 49ers. Perhaps the possibility of a quarterback injury was too much for the Niners to gamble on and that is why they held on to a pissed-off Garoppolo. Either way, they still have their quarterback.