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#pounditSaturday, July 2, 2022

Chris Simms explains why 49ers are ‘scared’ of Trey Lance situation

Trey Lance on the field

Dec 19, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) smiles after defeating the Atlanta Falcons at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Trey Lance has been viewed as a raw prospect since the San Francisco 49ers drafted him with the third overall pick last year. It is still difficult to get a read on whether the Niners plan to name him their starter next season, and Chris Simms has a theory on why the team has been hesitant.

The obvious reason is that the 49ers have yet to trade Jimmy Garoppolo. However, Simms feels they are “scared” to formally give Lance the job.

“Are they scared a little bit?” Simms said on Pro Football Talk Live this week, via SI.com’s Grant Cohn. “Of course they are.”

Simms pointed to the concerns he heard coming out of Niners training camp last year. He said most people who watched Lance practice were not impressed.

“Anybody you talk to who saw training camp last year, either that was part of the 49ers staff or when they went and worked with the Los Angeles Chargers and you hear people who witnessed those practices, there had to be concerns coming out of San Francisco early on in the year last year,” Simms said. “I know there was. There were too many people who were like, ‘Man, the ball is everywhere; man, he’s not ready yet.’ That’s got to scare them to a degree.”

For what it’s worth, Cohn attended training camp practices last year and disagreed with Simms. He shared some stats he charted and said he felt Garoppolo struggled more than Lance in practice.

Simms is probably right. The Niners still believe Lance can be a franchise quarterback, but the last thing they want to do is hand him the reigns before he is ready. They would then risk shaking the 22-year-old’s confidence. If they cannot find a trade partner for Garoppolo, it might make sense to have Lance hold a clipboard for another season.

A recent report made it seem like the 49ers are confident in Lance. We will believe that when we see it.

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