LA Rams pledge to Run It Back in 2022 is a bit complicated

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Grabbing at straws or Garoppolos?

And then there is the dilemma with the San Francisco 49ers. It was long presumed that after the 2021 NFL season, the 49ers would trade oft-injured starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and promote second-year quarterback Trey Lance into the starting role. But the 49ers expected an offer that started with a first-round draft pick, and they have gotten no offers close to that minimum bid.

Of course, the textbook counter to that cool reception is to infuse a sense of urgency. The 49ers, thanks to a timely report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, are now reportedly re-thinking their willingness to trade Garoppolo and will pick up his $25 million price tag one more season to give Lance more time to learn the offense. Does that really make sense for the Niners organization?

I don’t it makes a lick of sense. Before the rookie quarterback ever takes the field, the organization balks at giving him the starting role? This is such a predictable strategy that it would be more newsworthy if the 49ers did not suggest that they would be willing to keep Garoppolo for one more season.

The problem with Garoppolo is the same challenge as it exists for the Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff. He is an excellent quarterback as long as the offense contracts what it asks of him, and allows him to make throws that he is good at. Not all offenses are set up like that of the 49ers, so his value in a new offense is debatable.  The 49ers may not want to publicly admit it, but without shedding the pricetag of Garoppolo, they essentially negate any value of drafting Lance in the first place.

If the Niners are truly in win-now mode, then they need to get Garoppolo of their books. If they do not, their team could regress in 2022.