- Covered Rams for nine years for stlouisrams.com
- Previously covered University of Missouri football
- Member of Pro Football Writers of America
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — In the moments after the San Francisco 49ers selected quarterback Trey Lance with the third pick of the NFL draft on Thursday night, one of the first things incumbent starter Jimmy Garoppolo did was reach out to the rookie who is expected to eventually replace him.
“One thing that was really heartwarming to me, I heard last night that Jimmy reached out [to Lance],” general manager John Lynch said Friday night. “Trey was here today and Trey told us that the first text he got was from Jimmy Garoppolo. So, that’s pretty special. I think it speaks to his class.”
That the Niners took Lance was no surprise to Garoppolo, who had been informed by Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan that they intended to take a quarterback on March 26, the day the team traded with the Miami Dolphins to move up from No. 12 to No. 3.
Since then, the Niners have been holding Zoom meetings as part of their offseason program. and Shanahan said Friday he has kept Garoppolo abreast of the team’s plans. Because of that, Shanahan and Lynch did not need to reach out to Garoppolo after making Lance’s selection official.
“Jimmy knew what the deal was,” Shanahan said. “We have Zoom meetings every day. I got to see him on Zoom earlier that day and we had meetings and stuff. Jimmy has been great. … Jimmy is taking it as a business approach. I think he’s excited for right now, just talking to him, and he’s ready to come here and get back to being healthy and playing with our team. And if we have him compete, I know he’s ready to compete.”
The Niners have been adamant that Garoppolo will remain in the fold despite the fact they traded up to select Lance. Although there has been speculation about a possible trade, Shanahan reinforced that message on Thursday, and, for now at least, it seems Garoppolo will be back, possibly as part of a competition if things develop that way.
Lance arrived in the Bay Area with his family on Saturday and spent a little time with Shanahan and Lynch before he went to look for a place to live. Lance is slated to meet with quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello on Saturday to get a head start on learning his new playbook before heading home with his family on Sunday.
From there, Lance will return to the Bay Area the Wednesday before May’s rookie minicamp and will then be back for good. For his part, Lance said Thursday he’s looking forward to working with Garoppolo.
“I’m just focused on getting there, learning as much as I possibly can, getting to know Jimmy and the guys in the room and learning and getting to know him and becoming close with him,” Lance said. “And just learning as much as I can and at that point, obviously competing.”
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