49ers owner's stunning Brock Purdy confession proves Trey Lance was doomed in SF

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New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

It's been five months since the Dallas Cowboys traded a 2024 fourth-round pick for Trey Lance. Though that investment hasn't paid off yet, Lance was acquired just weeks before the start of the 2023 regular season.

There was nowhere enough practice time for Lance to grasp the Texas Coast offense and pressure Cooper Rush, who at this point is established as one of the more reliable backups in the league, for the QB2 job. It also would've been unfair to Lance to rush him through that process given what he just endured in San Francisco.

As we know, then-rookie Brock Purdy replaced Lance under center two games into the 2022 season after Lance suffered a fractured ankle. Purdy hasn't looked back. He took the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game and guided the team to a Super Bowl appearance this season.

Any smart team would continue riding the hot hand and Purdy, to his credit, has proven to be more than a flash in the pan. It seems, though, that 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan knew early on that Purdy was build for this, which team owner Jed York revealed to reporters this week.

49ers owner's stunning Brock Purdy confession proves Trey Lance was doomed in San Francisco

Shanahan admitted to York during the 49ers' 2022 training camp that Purdy "would end up being our quarterback at some point." The owner praised Shanahan for letting it play out the right way. Lance opened 2022 as the starter (before his devastating ankle injury), Jimmy Garoppolo was the backup and Purdy brought up the rear as the third-stringer.

Credit to Shanahan for giving Lance his chance, but York's confession suggests San Francisco would have looked for any excuse to pull the plug on Lance. Whether they made that obvious remains a mystery, but all of this brings us back to when Garoppolo was asked for his thoughts on the Cowboys-Lance trade.

“Weird situation,”Garoppolo told Sports Illustrated. “Been a lot of weird situations over there in San Francisco. I’ll just leave it at that. But I’m happy Trey got another shot. I’m happy he’s getting to Dallas, gets another opportunity and hopefully things work out there.”

Not exactly a ringing endorsement from Garoppolo. Given that Shanahan was bullish on Purdy from jump street, you can understand why the 49ers attempted to trade Garoppolo during the 2022 offseason. It seems in trying to launch Purdy up the depth chart, San Francisco fractured its relationship with Garoppolo, who also took them to a Super Bowl.

We don't fault the 49ers for sticking with Purdy. It was the best decision for the team. Having said that, though, York's confession proves Lance was doomed in San Francisco. It's like Shanahan said: Purdy was going to be the guy sooner or later. We're not sure if there's anything Lance could've done to change his mind.

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