What is the 49ers QB outlook in 2022?
By: Jake Rajala
The San Francisco 49ers have been headed by the roller coaster ride of a quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo since 2014. In 2021, the genius Kyle Shanahan took it upon himself to find a more suitable long-term QB for his talented NFC West team. Shanny would of course draft Trey Lance in the 2021 NFL draft. Flash forward to Week 18 of the 2021-2022 season, we have a better idea of what Lance’s ceiling is, Jimmy G’s outlook, and how far the team is away from obtaining a Lombardi trophy.
Needless to say, it appears that Lance is a QB that holds gifted talent, yet he’s still learning how to read defenses and utilize his skillset to the best of his ability. At the same time, it looks obvious that Lance will take complete control of the reigns between himself and the veteran Jimmy G in the 2022 offseason.
We’ve seen Jimmy fail to run away with the future QB gig. The story hasn’t changed this season, as Jimmy G has been a pleasant game manager at best. He hasn’t thrown over two touchdowns in a single game, he’s been injured, and he’s been a ghost in big-game situations. Most recently, the 49ers GM John Lynch liked a negative tweet about Jimmy G after the disappointing defeat at the hands of the Tennessee Titans. He claims it was an accident, but it does appear to be a very “uncoincidental accident”.
The 49ers could very well look to capitalize off of Jimmy G’s potential by trading him at this stage in his career — as he is only 30 years old. Per, NFL.com, the 49ers actually do intend to trade Jimmy G in the offseason. I’d say that the veteran QB didn’t help his chances of staying on the team with his most recent production. So, the question begs to ask. If Jimmy G is out the door, who could join Lance in the Bay Area? Well, here are a few realistic options.
Marcus Mariota is a 28-year-old, dual-threat QB, who will be a free agent in 2022. The former Oregon Duck would be the PERFECT value pickup at the QB position. Mariota, who’s pushed Carr until his brakes have nearly fallen off, could see the 49ers as a potential starting opportunity. The 49ers would be spending less money on a potentially better fit with Mariota than Garoppolo.
I know this isn’t a sexy pick. Yet, it’s publicly known that Shanny strongly admires the red rifle. Shanahan was reportedly upset when he couldn’t get his hands on the former playoff QB in the 2021 offseason. Andy Dalton might not have the ceiling of a Jameis Winston or even Jimmy G, but he can be a reliable QB2 that won’t miss wide-open WRs.
Josh Johnson showed that he was still very athletic in the place of Lamar Jackson. The QB that has clocked a 4.44 40 time threw for 5 passing touchdowns to 2 interceptions for the Ravens in two contests. Johnson would be a nice QB2 to rotate in for Lance on read-option plays next season.