Garoppolo, Lance insist relationship hasn't changed in 2022 – 95.7 The Game
If you didn’t expect Jimmy Garoppolo to remain with the 49ers in 2022, you’re not alone. Neither did he.
For the first time since the franchise restructured his contract and brought him back on a one-year, $6.5 million deal with nearly $9 million in incentives, Garoppolo spoke to the media Thursday in Santa Clara. So did Trey Lance, who is set to take over the offense from new QB2 Jimmy G.
Both guys were saying all the right things, especially about any notions of discontent between the two of them.
“Me and Trey – honestly, I know a lot of stuff gets made in the media and s–t like that,” Garoppolo said. “But we have a good relationship. Everyone can say what they want and everything, but we went through it last year. It was very similar to this situation. It’s not like we haven’t done it before.”
Garoppolo will be the clipboard holder this year, though, not Lance. Trey got to play 10 meaningful quarters of action last season while Garoppolo missed time to injury. Much has been made about his inexperience since high school, as he was limited to just one full season with FCS North Dakota State before the Niners traded up to get him at No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Lance insists that their relationship is the same even though he’s the QB1 now.
"I don’t think the relationship changes, the dynamic,” Lance said. “It’s just different roles. He’s still gonna be a huge resource for me. I’m gonna be able to ask him questions, bounce ideas off him, watch tape.”
Trey says nothing changes regarding leadership with Jimmy G being back pic.twitter.com/uuR0v91sBp
In a similar show of humility, Garoppolo said his ego wasn't damaged by the demotion on the depth chart.
"If that's gonna take a blow to your ego, you gotta check your ego a little bit," Garoppolo said. "You gotta know who you are in this league. Who you are as a player and who you are as a person. That’s gonna carry you a long way. That’s why I’m really not to concerned about that.”
Garoppolo dealt with two late-season injuries last year – one to his thumb and one to his shoulder. He was able to rehab his way through the thumb injury but couldn’t make enough progress on his shoulder, which he injured during the Wild Card game against the Dallas Cowboys. After about three or four weeks of rehabbing, he elected to get surgery on March 8, which put him in something of a purgatory while the NFL free agency frenzy unraveled.
“I really don’t like to get surgery if I don’t have to,” Garoppolo said. “I’m happy the way it worked out. I don’t think it was exactly the way I wanted it to work out, but everything happens for a reason.”
By the time Garoppolo was throwing again in July, most teams had shored up their quarterback situations. The late shuffle with Deshaun Watson to the Cleveland Browns and Baker Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers closed out some possible starting opportunities around the league.
Garoppolo said he had plenty of suitors calling, but the 49ers situation appealed to him most.
“Just the opportunity to be with the same offense I’m familiar with, coaches I’m familiar with, players, all that played a big role in it," Garoppolo said. "Seeing the other opportunities that were out there. You weigh pros and cons of everything. Trust me, there was a lot of back-and-forth going on with other teams and what I wanted my future to look like. This is what I wanted. I’m happy with the way it worked out. I think the familiarity was a big part of it.”
Jimmy G describes his path back to the Niners as "weird" pic.twitter.com/E68Tjo9ZXM
Garoppolo admitted that the drawn-out saga was unexpected. For someone who was once drafted in 2014 to be Tom Brady’s successor (lol), Garoppolo knows a thing or two about QB controversies.
“It was weird,” Garoppolo said. “It was different than any situation I've been in and I've been in some weird ones too. That's saying something. But I think things worked out for the best. There was a lot of ups and downs, rocky roads here and there. I think throughout the whole thing, I’m happy with where I’m at. I’m happy to be with the Niners and I think the Niners are happy to have me back.”
Controversy is a loaded word. Lance and Garoppolo clearly want to squash any thoughts that they can’t co-exist.
The night the news broke that Garoppolo would be returning, the two exchanged texts. The following day, they had a quick chat at the locker.
“It was all love. Nothing’s changed between us,” Lance said. “I can say it a million times. He’s been my big bro and nothing’s gonna change there.”