Tagged in: niners

Trey Lance on being named San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback

While San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan’s definitive declaration that this team now belongs to quarterback Trey Lance might have come as news to outside observers, it was just another day at the office for Lance himself.

“Honestly, the only difference is I was hoping you guys would stop asking me about it all the time,” Lance said Thursday. “For me, it wasn’t really a moment or anything like that. I’ve been excited. I’ve been preparing to play since the day I got here, since the day I got drafted. So, obviously excited for this year but nothing has really changed this whole offseason.”

Shanahan made that statement Tuesday, the day the Niners reported for the start of this year’s training camp. And though it had long been expected that Lance was ready to step in as the starter, Shanahan had previously declined to say it in such certain terms.

But with training camp’s arrival and the pending departure of incumbent starter Jimmy Garoppolo, who has passed a physical as he recovers from right shoulder surgery, nobody had much reason to further delay the unavoidable.

After taking all of the reps with the starting offense in the offseason program, Lance arrived at this camp knowing that the job was his and that every practice is a chance to prepare to lead a team that has Super Bowl aspirations.

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For right now, the objective for the Niners is to reinforce the fundamentals of Shanahan’s offense before turning an eye toward some of the additional skills — such as running — that Lance brings to the table.

“There’s certain plays you have to get good at just to succeed in this league and to move the ball,” Shanahan said. “And then what can Trey do differently than we’ve had? I do believe Trey is a threat to run at any time, so knowing that he is a threat to run at any time, that definitely changes things. That gives another element that defenses have to worry about.”

Lance’s first two days of practice as the confirmed starter have come with some ups and downs.

On Wednesday, he took 16 snaps in team drills, operating mostly from the pocket and appearing to be in control as he completed 5 of 7 passes during team drills.

On Thursday, Lance had a few more hiccups, including an interception he threw right to free safety Jimmie Ward and a couple of misfires to open targets that fell incomplete.

Lance was pleased with how the offense rebounded, and he drew large cheers from fans when he scrambled for a long run down the left sideline and again when he found receiver Brandon Aiyuk between two defenders on a deep out late in the session.

Despite the miscues, Lance stated he felt like Thursday was better than Wednesday, though he acknowledged the turnovers have to stop (the offense had three other interceptions in addition to Lance’s).

If nothing else, Lance can move forward confidently knowing he’s free to make and learn from mistakes without looking over his shoulder.

“Last year I was definitely in a different spot mentally, I would say,” Lance said. “Just feeling a lot more confident this year coming in knowing what I’m doing, knowing the offense a lot better, knowing the guys a lot better, having been around this organization and coaching staff for a year, I think it will be a great thing.”

As for Garoppolo, he has been in the building and continuing his throwing program but is not attending practice as the Niners seek a trade partner for him. Lance said he saw Garoppolo on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“It’s nothing weird at all,” Lance said. “I’ve never had anything I could possibly say that’s bad about Jimmy. He’s been a big brother to me since the day I came in, and he could have made things hell for me last year. He didn’t. He helped me out with everything so I’m super excited to see him healthy, I’m super excited to see him throwing again and super excited to see what he does.”

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San Francisco 49ers give Jimmy Garoppolo’s agents permission to seek trade

The San Francisco 49ers have given Jimmy Garoppolo’s agents permission to seek a trade involving the veteran quarterback, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Garoppolo, who is recuperating from offseason surgery on his throwing shoulder, has been cleared to start practicing as the Niners prepare for the start of training camp next week, a team source told Schefter.

The Niners are still expected to exercise caution this summer with Garoppolo, who underwent the surgery in March — a procedure that delayed San Francisco’s efforts to trade him.

Niners coach Kyle Shanahan acknowledged in May that Garoppolo was “most likely to be traded” but then noted that a trade was “not a guarantee.”

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Second-year quarterback Trey Lance has worked as the starter during San Francisco’s offseason program while Garoppolo, who has been the Niners’ starter since late in the 2017 season, has spent most of his offseason rehabbing in Southern California. Garoppolo was excused from the team’s mandatory minicamp in early June after not taking part in the team’s offseason conditioning program.

Veterans are planned to report to Niners training camp Tuesday.

Garoppolo, 30, is entering the final season of his contract and is scheduled to count $26.95 million against the 2022 salary cap. That deal involved a no-trade clause for the 2021 season only, and the 49ers have the right to trade him to any team of their choosing.

An acquiring team would take on a $24.2 million salary if it traded for Garoppolo right now, but that salary is not guaranteed and interested teams could potentially work with him on a contract extension that knocks down the salary number in exchange for guarantees.

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Star receiver Deebo Samuel asks San Francisco 49ers to trade him

For the past few months, the San Francisco 49ers have repeatedly stated they’d like to keep wide receiver Deebo Samuel for a long time. On Wednesday, it became clear that Samuel and the Niners don’t quite see things the same way.

Samuel, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, told ESPN’s Jeff Darlington that he has asked the 49ers to trade him. Samuel declined to offer specific reasons for requesting the trade but acknowledged that he has informed the team of his desire to leave.

That comes on the heels of what has become an increasingly turbulent relationship between the two sides following Samuel’s breakout 2021 season. In recent weeks, Samuel has scrubbed any mention of the 49ers from his Instagram account, unfollowed the team and removed most photos of him in the team’s uniform from the platform. When the Niners opened their offseason conditioning program on Tuesday, Samuel did not attend, and sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that he was not expected to participate in any on-field work during the voluntary portion of the offseason program.

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Samuel’s trade request comes at a time when the salaries for wide receivers have skyrocketed.

The Las Vegas Raiders gave Davante Adams $28.5 million per season on an extension after trading for him, and the Miami Dolphins rewarded Tyreek Hill with a contract averaging $30 million per season one week later after acquiring him from the Kansas City Chiefs. Buffalo’s Stefon Diggs also received a lucrative contract extension recently.

Despite all of that, at every chance this offseason, San Francisco general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan have stated they intend to keep Samuel with the team well into the future. At the NFL owners meetings at the end of March, both sounded optimistic that deals for Samuel and defensive end Nick Bosa would be forthcoming.

“Like I’ve long said, those guys are going to be a part of us for a long, long time,” Lynch said. “They’re fantastic players. They’re very much at the core of who we are and they’re fabulous players, fabulous people and a big part of who we are.”

Shanahan said he wasn’t involved in the negotiations but was also adamant that Samuel remains a foundational player for the franchise.

“But we need to figure it out,” Shanahan said. “Those are guys who have earned a lot, two guys that I’m hoping that they are Niners forever, or at least as long as I’m here.”

After the 49ers lost to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game, Samuel was asked about staying with the Niners long term on a new contract.

“That is not my call,” Samuel said then. “That’s out of my hands.”

But Samuel now seems to be taking matters into his own hands. The 49ers have been open to working out a deal with Samuel, but those talks have not gone anywhere. In the meantime, there are other wideouts who are also still in line for big-money deals.

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Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook has dislocated shoulder

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook dislocated his shoulder during Sunday’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Cook is anticipated to miss at least the next two matches — Sunday at the Detroit Lions and the following Thursday versus the Pittsburgh Steelers — with the hope being he can return the next week for the Monday, Dec. 20, game at the Chicago Bears, the source told Schefter.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer would not disclose the nature of Cook’s injury Monday and stated his star running back was “day-to-day.”

“That’s what they’re telling me,” Zimmer said.

Cook was carted off the field late in the third quarter and ruled out for the remainder of the game.

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He was injured after being brought down by Niners defensive tackle Kevin Givens following a handoff.

The running back lost the ball in the process of being tackled and immediately grabbed for his chest with his right arm when he hit the ground.

He stayed down on the field for several minutes as athletic trainers tended to him. Both Vikings and Niners players knelt around Cook while he was moved onto a cart before being taken off the field and back into the locker room for further evaluation.

Cook’s day ended with 10 carries for 39 yards and six receptions for 64 yards. He was replaced by backup running back Alexander Mattison, who rushed three times for 8 yards and caught one pass for 2 yards after Cook left.

In other news Monday, the Viking placed cornerback Patrick Peterson on the reserve/COVID-19 list, putting his availability for Sunday’s game versus the Lions in question.

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San Francisco 49ers RB Raheem Mostert to have season-ending knee surgery

Two days and multiple doctor consultations after leaving the season opener versus the Detroit Lions with a knee injury, San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert’s season is over.

Mostert took to social media on Tuesday to revealed that an injury the Niners hoped would require a minor arthroscopic surgery will instead end his 2021 season. On Monday, the Niners had said he might return in about eight weeks.

“This gives me, without a doubt in my mind, the best possibility at coming back 110%. I have ALWAYS come back stronger and I will this time too! I have faith in myself, my doctors, my support system, my team, and God,” Mostert said in a statement posted on social media, adding he was “gutted” by the decision.

With Mostert done for the season, the 49ers signed running back Kerryon Johnson to their practice squad Tuesday. Johnson joins a running back room that also involves rookies Elijah Mitchell and Trey Sermon and second-year pro JaMycal Hasty, all of whom are on the active roster.

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Mostert, 29, suffered the injury in Sunday’s 41-33 victory over the Detroit Lions. He carried twice for 20 yards on San Francisco’s second possession, but headed to the sideline soon after a 9-yard gain on the second play of the series.

On Monday, Niners coach Kyle Shanahan announced that Mostert would miss approximately eight weeks with “chipped cartilage” in a knee that would require arthroscopic surgery.

But Mostert sought multiple opinions to ensure when he does come back, he will be at full strength. Those additional opinions pointed him in the direction of a surgery that will require a longer recovery time.

All of which brings into question whether Mostert has played his final game with the 49ers.

He is in the final season of a three-year, $8.65 million deal he signed in 2019.

He had a breakout end of the 2019 season, bursting onto the scene in the playoffs and rushing for 220 yards and four touchdowns in the NFC Championship Game versus the Green Bay Packers.

But Mostert was limited to eight games in 2020 as knee and ankle sprains cost him two and six games, respectively. He entered this year as the Niners’ unquestioned top back but the team started planning for the future by selecting Sermon in the third round and Mitchell in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL draft.

Mitchell stepped in for Mostert after the injury. He figures to get the first crack at the starting job after he set a 49ers franchise record for rushing yards (104 on 19 carries) in a debut. Hasty, who ran for a touchdown against Detroit, is expected to move up to second in the rotation with Sermon third.

The 49ers placed Mostert and cornerback Jason Verrett (torn right ACL) on injured reserve Tuesday, signed veteran cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and promoted cornerback Dontae Johnson from the practice squad to the 53-man roster in corresponding moves. The team currently had 52 players on their 53-man roster.

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