May 25, 2021; Santa Clara, CA, USA;  San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) during Organized Team Activities at San Francisco 49ers Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan: ‘No open competition’ at QB

The San Francisco 49ers spent the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on quarterback Trey Lance, but coach Kyle Shanahan said it’s veteran Jimmy Garoppolo atop the depth chart as training camp opens.

“There’s no open competition, where they’re getting equal reps with the same group,” Shanahan said Tuesday. “Jimmy’s coming in as the 1, Trey as the 2.”

Lance has yet to sign his rookie deal — projected to be four years for $34.1 million – but general manager John Lynch said he expects Lance to sign soon.

In addition to Lance being absent, Garoppolo is getting the nod over Lance as camp begins because of a strong showing in spring workouts and not contract status, Shanahan said.

“I’m just looking at our situation,” he said. “It’s a lot simpler than people make it out to be: Who gives you a better chance to win?”

Lance did receive some work with the first team in spring workouts open to media.

Garoppolo, 29, is 22-8 as the 49ers starter in the regular season but injuries — a torn ACL, a sprained throwing shoulder and two high ankle sprains — have limited the quarterback. Acquired from the New England Patriots on Oct. 31, 2017, for a 2018 second-round draft pick, Garoppolo started just 25 games over the past three seasons as is entering the fourth year of a five-year, $137.5 million contract.

In 2019, when he started all 16 games, the 49ers were 13-3 and reached the Super Bowl, a 31-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

In 31 games (30 starts) in San Francisco, Garoppolo has completed 67.5 percent (596 of 883) of his passes for 7,352 touchdowns with 46 touchdowns and 26 interceptions.

Lance brings to the 49ers a resume that includes 19 college games at FCS program North Dakota State. All but three of those games were in 2019, when Lance threw for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns and zero interceptions, while running for 1,110 yards and 14 touchdowns. He led the Bison to a 28-20 win over James Madison in the FCS title game after the 2019 season.

The 49ers finished last season with a 6-10 record and open the 2021 season Sept. 12 at Detroit.

–Field Level Media

Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, OH, USA; North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance appears on the Red Carpet  at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame before the first round of the 2021 NFL football draft, Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Cleveland.  Mandatory Credit: David Dermer/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

49ers knew Trey Lance was the guy in January

Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch celebrated a decision kept under wraps for more than three months: bringing quarterback Trey Lance to San Francisco.

“You know how it is when you meet someone who kind of has ‘it,’” Lynch said in a joint interview with Shanahan on ESPN late Thursday. “From the first experience we had with him via Zoom to the pro day where we got to go be around him a little bit, it just got better and better.

“I’ll never forget the night Kyle called me up on a Sunday night about 9 o’clock and said, ‘I’m getting kind of obsessed with this guy. You’ve got to watch him.”

Lance was chosen third in the 2021 NFL Draft, following fellow quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars) and Zach Wilson (Jets) off the board.

Shanahan said he knew Lance would be the guy in January. He didn’t know if the 49ers would be able to get him holding the No. 12 pick.

By the time Lynch caught up with film study, they were in lockstep on which quarterback fit the 49ers best. The GM made a trade with the Miami Dolphins to acquire the No. 3 pick in March with eyes firmly locked on Lance.

But Lynch and Shanahan didn’t even share their preference with scouts and assistant coaches. They wanted all evaluations to be independent of any influence of knowing the bosses wanted the small-school product.

And as pundits pointed in other directions, namely at Alabama’s Mac Jones and Ohio State’s Justin Fields, it was the North Dakota State quarterback with limited game reps the 49ers felt was the only option.

“All of that stuff is a concern,” Shanahan said. “The people who are the best in the world at (drafting) are still taking their best guess.”

Shanahan said the Lance pick isn’t an exact science and no pick can be. However, he said the team was very thorough in watching film of Lance, which helped override any worry about the number of games and reps he had in college.

Lance went 17-0 in college — the same number of starts Jones had with the Crimson Tide — but his 318 college pass attempts are the lowest total for a first-round pick in the last 40 years.

He’ll enter the offseason program as a backup to Jimmy Garoppolo.

Lynch said when Lance “is ready, he’s ready” but deferred to Shanahan and the coaching staff on the pecking order at quarterback.

“With Jimmy, if he’s healthy, he’s working his butt off. It’s going to be very hard to come in and beat Jimmy out,” Shanahan said. “Jimmy’s our quarterback right now. The day it looks like Trey can compete with him and he’s ready to go, we’ll see that and we won’t hesitate. We have a very good backup now, he comes in at No. 2.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 20, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch (left) shakes hands with head coach Kyle Shanahan after their win against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

QB3? 49ers set to attend second pro day of Justin Fields, Trey Lance

Oct 18, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman (11) warms up prior to the game against the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

With the third pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, are the San Francisco 49ers locked in on a new quarterback?

Signs point that way as multiple reports indicate the team brass of general manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan will be in attendance for the second pro day workouts of prospects Trey Lance (North Dakota State) and Justin Fields (Ohio State).

Fields has his second pro day on Wednesday and Lance is scheduled for his second showing April 19 (Monday), just 11 days before the draft.

Fields is staging another workout in part because the 49ers were in Tuscaloosa, Ala., watching the Crimson Tide draft class that could produce a record number of first-round picks later this month. That includes quarterback Mac Jones.

Interest in the 2021 quarterback class is through the roof and speculation points to the top three or four selections in the draft being spent on QBs, starting with Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence at No. 1 to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

DraftKings lists Lawrence as a -10000 favorite to be the top pick in the draft.

Lynch was in attendance for BYU quarterback Zach Wilson’s pro day right before the franchise acquired the No. 3 pick in the draft from the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins secured the 49ers’ first-round pick (12th overall) in 2021 as well as first-round picks in 2022 and 2023. They also received a third-round selection in 2022.

That 12th overall pick didn’t stay with the Dolphins for long. Miami sent it, along with the 123rd overall pick and a 2022 first-round selection, to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for the Nos. 6 and 156 overall picks in 2021.

The Dolphins initially acquired the third overall pick as part of the trade that sent left tackle Laremy Tunsil to the Houston Texans in September 2019.

While Miami has Tua Tagovailoa as its starter, the trade put the 49ers in play to land one of the top-tier QBs of the draft.

Lawrence is the presumptive No. 1 pick, while the New York Jets traded their own starter, Sam Darnold, and at No. 2 would have a choice from among Wilson, Fields, Lance and Alabama’s Jones.

Drafting a quarterback third overall could create additional draft dominoes considering the 49ers have Jimmy Garoppolo in the fold.

Garoppolo, 29, was acquired in a trade from the New England Patriots in October 2017 and guided the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance following the 2019 season. Garoppolo signed a five-year, $137.5 million contract extension with the 49ers on Feb. 8, 2018, and his cap hit this season is $26.4 million.

–Field Level Media

Dec 29, 2019; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Chicago Bears linebacker Aaron Lynch (99) looks on during the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars DE/LB Lynch retires at 27

Defensive end/linebacker Aaron Lynch, who signed a free agent deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars in May, is retiring from the NFL.

ESPN first reported Monday that Lynch is stepping away from the game at age 27. NFL.com later reported that the Jaguars expect to place him on the reserve/retired list on Tuesday.

The news about Lynch comes one day after Jacksonville defensive lineman Rodney Gunter retired because of a heart condition. Gunter and Lynch became the fifth and sixth Jaguars defensive linemen to opt out, go on injured reserve or retire since July 31, according to ESPN.

Earlier Monday, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said he excused Lynch from practice.

“He’s taking care of something personally,” Marrone added. “So he’s dealing with that and we’ll see where that is as we go forward, so we’re in communication with him so it’s not an issue.”

Marrone said of the team’s attrition on the defensive line, “You’ve got to be prepared and you’ve got to be able to do it. I know that there will be a lot written about, kind of like you said, these plans that they have, have been blown up. But it’s also a great opportunity and a great challenge for these other guys to step up, and if you have that happen, that’s great. Especially the young guys.

“The guys that we’re talking about (that are not available) were guys that were experienced, guys that have done it before. Having those veteran type of guys brought in, we still have a decent mix, but now it’s a little bit more on the younger guys and guys that have been here to step up.”

Lynch is leaving behind a one-year, $1.01 million contract. He joined the Jaguars after recording two sacks in 16 games as a reserve for the Bears in 2019, his second season with Chicago. He played the prior four years for the San Francisco 49ers.

In 73 career NFL games (22 starts), Lynch has 20 sacks, 105 tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery. San Francisco made him a fifth-round pick in 2014 out of the University of South Florida.

–Field Level Media

Dec 29, 2019; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Chicago Bears linebacker Aaron Lynch (99) looks on during the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars DE/LB Lynch retires at 27

Defensive end/linebacker Aaron Lynch, who signed a free agent deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars in May, is retiring from the NFL.

ESPN first reported Monday that Lynch is stepping away from the game at age 27. NFL.com later reported that the Jaguars expect to place him on the reserve/retired list on Tuesday.

The news about Lynch comes one day after Jacksonville defensive lineman Rodney Gunter retired because of a heart condition. Gunter and Lynch became the fifth and sixth Jaguars defensive linemen to opt out, go on injured reserve or retire since July 31, according to ESPN.

Earlier Monday, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said he excused Lynch from practice.

“He’s taking care of something personally,” Marrone added. “So he’s dealing with that and we’ll see where that is as we go forward, so we’re in communication with him so it’s not an issue.”

Marrone said of the team’s attrition on the defensive line, “You’ve got to be prepared and you’ve got to be able to do it. I know that there will be a lot written about, kind of like you said, these plans that they have, have been blown up. But it’s also a great opportunity and a great challenge for these other guys to step up, and if you have that happen, that’s great. Especially the young guys.

“The guys that we’re talking about (that are not available) were guys that were experienced, guys that have done it before. Having those veteran type of guys brought in, we still have a decent mix, but now it’s a little bit more on the younger guys and guys that have been here to step up.”

Lynch is leaving behind a one-year, $1.01 million contract. He joined the Jaguars after recording two sacks in 16 games as a reserve for the Bears in 2019, his second season with Chicago. He played the prior four years for the San Francisco 49ers.

In 73 career NFL games (22 starts), Lynch has 20 sacks, 105 tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery. San Francisco made him a fifth-round pick in 2014 out of the University of South Florida.

–Field Level Media

Nov 17, 2019; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers free safety D.J. Reed (32) recovers a fumble for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers DB Reed to miss season after surgery

San Francisco 49ers defensive back D.J. Reed will miss the 2020 season because of a torn pectoral injury.

General manager John Lynch said Monday that Reed suffered the injury in an offseason workout and underwent surgery. He was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list.

Lynch said he didn’t expect him to be cleared to play until November at the earliest but couldn’t hold a roster spot for him.

“That’s a tough one for us,” Lynch said.”The earliest we might’ve had D.J. back was early November, but it’s a four-to-six month injury. It’s been an active conversation, Kyle (Shanahan) and myself and the medical folks have been having. Ultimately, too difficult to keep a roster spot for something that may go into December. So, we made that.”

The 49ers selected Reed, a Kansas State product, in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. In two seasons in a largely reserve role, he has played in 31 games, making 54 tackles and scoring a touchdown after recovering a fumbled kickoff return. He also has returned kickoffs for the 49ers.

–Field Level Media