Why Whitworth thinks Lance’s departure from the 49ers would affect the team

Why Whitworth thinks Lance-starting 49ers would affect team originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Trey Lance has had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows since entering the NFL.

The 49ers gave up three first-round picks to select Lance in 2021, making it clear he was going to be their quarterback of the future. Since then, he has only played eight games in two seasons with San Francisco due to the situation and injuries.

Lance is now focused on reclaiming his QB1 job in 2023, but Brock Purdy will likely be San Francisco’s starter after a stunning and near-perfect start to his NFL career last season. The 49ers now face another offseason without knowing who their QB1 will be, and former NFL tackle and current analyst Andrew Whitworth tried to figure out the situation.

“I think it’s a crazy deal, because you really look at him, it was almost like they did this step like ‘Trey Lance is the future’ and all we’re doing is saying this guy is going to evolve into the next one. [big thing] for us,” Whitworth told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco during a recent “49ers Talk” episode. “

Whitworth doesn’t believe 49ers general manager John Lynch and Co. made a mistake in giving up so much in Lance’s draft, but he acknowledged how things have gone so far for both sides.

The former offensive lineman is sure Purdy has shown enough in 2022 to prove the final pick in last year’s draft is worthy of the starting role for the coming season. And if the 49ers choose to start Lance over Purdy in 2023, Whitworth doesn’t see it going down well with the team and the players, who have been very candid about their faith in Purdy.

“So in this situation, as [general manager] and as an organization they did what they thought was best, they went and got a guy that they thought had this big upside and potential and one thing you can guarantee in the NFL, injuries are going to happen,” Whitworth continued. And when you get drafted, that’s the day they start trying to replace you. And so I think it’s one of those situations where, unfortunately for Trey Lance, he got injured at the wrong time and another guy had his shot and proved his worth to a team and now the guys believe in him.

“There’s a level of trust. And you would almost have to go against the trust of your football team to come back to Trey Lance. It’s Brock Purdy’s team and for Trey, if it has to end up happening because of injury with the 49ers or elsewhere, obviously he has a lot of potential and I can’t wait to see where his career goes.”

Once again, the 49ers’ quarterbacks will be the talk of the offseason. But whoever lines up under center for the first shot of Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco can then focus on the season and get back to the Super Bowl.

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