Jerry Rice: 49ers’ Lance ‘ready’ to take over for Jimmy G

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Hall of Fame wide receiver and three-time Super Bowl champion Jerry Rice is all-in on San Francisco 49ers second-year quarterback Trey Lance.

Rice, who is widely regarded as the best NFL receiver of all-time, spent 16 of his 20 seasons with the Niners and was selected to a league record 10 All-Pro first teams, so he knows a thing or two about success.

Lance — the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft by San Francisco — continues to be a central topic of discussion as the 2022 season approaches. Rice is a believer in the young QB, in part because of his dual-threat potential.

“Trey Lance, I think he’s ready to go, and I think he’s incredible because he has that one aspect that Jimmy [Garoppolo] doesn’t have, and that’s the threat of running with the ball and stuff like that,” Rice said. “So his mobility, his strong arm, and this guy, he’s before his time.

“He’s a young kid, but he’s very experienced, and I think he’s ready to go.”

Rookies and veterans are set to report to Niners training camp on July 26, and all eyes will surely be on the 22-year-old Lance. He started two games as a rookie and completed 57.7% of his passes with five touchdowns and two interceptions, while also rushing 38 times for 168 yards and a score.

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The young QB is making “major strides” this offseason, according to reports. Colin Cowherd weighs in on the San Francisco 49ers’ process with Lance.

With Lance in line to be the starter in 2022, the Niners have continued to explore trade opportunities for Garoppolo, who was officially excused from the team’s mandatory minicamp last month as he continues to rehab from shoulder surgery away from the facility this offseason.

The 30-year-old veteran QB remains on San Francisco’s roster, however, amid ongoing chatter that Lance has not yet been officially designated QB1 because he’s not ready.

Garoppolo is due a non-guaranteed $24.2 million base salary this season, and his $26.95 million salary cap hit is the highest on San Francisco’s roster for 2022. If the Niners cut or trade him, they’ll save $25.55 million in cap space. 

Garoppolo has gone 33-14 as a starter with the Niners, helping San Francisco reach the Super Bowl three years ago and the NFC Championship Game last season.


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