Trey Lance: 49ers tenure ‘not how I expected it to go’; Garoppolo throws shade at SF

Trey Lance: 49ers tenure ‘not how I expected it to go’; Garoppolo throws shade at SF

Former 49ers No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance on Tuesday made his first public comments as a member of the Dallas Cowboys, donning a hat that featured the team’s classic blue star.

Lance described the last several days as a whirlwind after he was traded Friday evening ahead of San Francisco’s final preseason game.

He sidestepped questions about his expectations with the new team, insisting that he’s intent on focusing his energy on each day as he learns head coach Mike McCarthy’s offense and assimilates with the Cowboys. He figures to be the third-string quarterback behind Pro Bowler Dak Prescott, who Lance said welcomed him “with open arms” Tuesday and Cooper Rush, who went 4-1 last season with Prescott injured.

The third-year quarterback thanked everyone from the 49ers’ coaching staff to the athletic trainers for his time in the Bay Area, and smiled at a question about the sour ending with the Niners when they installed Sam Darnold as the No. 2 quarterback and began seeking a trade.

“I’m kind of really trying to move on. But yeah, it definitely took some time,” he said. “That conversation, obviously, wasn’t something I wanted to hear, but that’s the reality of the situation … It was tough but for me, it was kind of trying to figure out you know, what’s next and what’s gonna happen in the future.”

As for his time with the 49ers, he “learned a ton” but admitted the experience didn’t live up to expectations after the 49ers traded three first-round picks for the chance to draft him in 2021.

“It’s not how I expected it to go, it’s not I think you know, a lot of people expected it to go,” he said. “But you know, I believe that everything happens for a reason.”

Lance isn’t a stranger to the Dallas area: He spent some of the offseason working in Fort Worth with Jeff Christensen, his private quarterback coach and also led North Dakota State to an FCS championship win over James Madison in Frisco, Texas in January 2020, earning MVP honors.

Trey Lance’s First Interview as a Dallas Cowboy. pic.twitter.com/slGRlOnYS7

— Ryan G Hensley (@ryanghensley) August 30, 2023

Another ex-49ers quarterback drew attention Tuesday when Jimmy Garoppolo threw a bit of shade toward the Niners’ brass in an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Robin Lundberg, who asked what he made of the Lance trade.

“Weird situation. Been a lot of weird situations over there in San Francisco. Just leave it at that,” he said with a chuckle before saying he was excited for Lance’s new opportunity.

When asked how he thinks the 49ers have handled the quarterback situations, he turned the question back around on Lundberg: “How do you think they’ve handled them?” he asked with a smile.

One of the people handling those situations still thinks highly of Garoppolo: Coach Kyle Shanahan said he felt the 31-year-old was the 49ers’ best quarterback since Steve Young, beating out Jeff Garcia and Colin Kaepernick, among others.

“It’s cool to hear with the lineage of quarterbacks that the Niners have put out. Just to even be mentioned in that sentence is pretty cool.”

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Lundberg described it as “messy,” and Garoppolo said that was “the nice way to put it,” before adding that “as a player, you got to make the best of your situations. We’re all dealt different situations, weird situations, whatever it may be. It’s how you come out of it that makes you a better person in the end.”

Garoppolo, for what it’s worth, also said he is excited for Lance to join a new organization, like he has with the Raiders and did with the 49ers after training behind Tom Brady in New England.

“It’s never a straight line. There’s always going to be bumps in the road, some things you gotta overcome,” Garoppolo said. “I think Trey’s made of the right stuff. He’s a good dude. Love that guy, he’s a brother to me, so I’m always pulling for him.”