HomeSportsHow the 49ers coached their way out of the tricky QB situation

How the 49ers coached their way out of the tricky QB situation

How the 49ers “Coached Out of the Tricky QB Situation” originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SANTA CLARA – Go back more than two and a half years, when the 49ers moved up to third in the 2021 NFL Draft, selecting quarterback Trey Lance.

There was a common belief that coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch had taken a move that, if unsuccessful, could mean the end of their tenure with the organization.

Lance didn’t work. The 49ers traded him to the Dallas Cowboys for a fourth-round draft pick.

Still, Shanahan and Lynch have about as much job security as any coach-GM combination in the NFL.

Why? Because they’ve been so good in other areas, as evidenced by the 49ers’ strong roster, abundance of wins, and deep postseason runs over three of the past four seasons.

“They’ve coached their way out of it, frankly,” said NBC Sports analyst Cris Collinsworth on the latest episode of “49ers Talk.” “They coached their way out, and that’s great.”

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Lance opened as a starter last season before suffering a season-ending injury in Week 2. After backup Jimmy Garoppolo also got injured, Brock Purdy entered the lineup and the 49ers offense got underway.

And just like that, the 49ers found the quarterback they believe is their long-term starter.

The 49ers’ bold move to invest so much change capital in the right to select Lance marked a major turnaround. The trade signals the 49ers didn’t plug in.

Then they continued.

“It’s your responsibility as a head coach or general manager to keep taking those shots until you get that guy who you think will give you the opportunity to win a world championship every year,” said Collinsworth.

And if the 49ers did indeed find their long-term quarterback in Purdy, the negatives of the Lance situation could become all but irrelevant.

“It’s about as close to the Tom Brady situation as we can come up with, right?” Collinsworth said. “You have all these top quarterback prospects, and then Mr. Irrelevant comes along and wins eight games in a row. And we all shake our heads and say, “What?” That just doesn’t happen.”

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Half of NFL quarterbacks are expected to earn $30 million or more per season. Meanwhile, the 49ers signed Purdy a deal that will pay him $934,253 annually over the course of his four-year contract. The parties are not allowed to negotiate a new contract until he plays his third full season.

Purdy’s emergence as the team’s quarterback is beneficial because it means the club can afford to keep expensive veteran players at every position on the team.

But Collinsworth acknowledges that saying goodbye to the three first-round picks the 49ers gave up to bring Lance to the organization will have inevitable consequences.

“It will have an effect on the road. There is no doubt about that,” said Collinsworth. “You don’t give up so many draft picks and you don’t have any impact on your football team.

“But I will say this: If I were in a general manager’s chair, I would always shoot the quarterback position.”

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