How long will it take Trey Lance to take over for Jimmy Garoppolo?
When will Justin Fields permanently replace Andy Dalton?
It is possible when the 49ers travel for their Week 8 game against the Chicago Bears that the first-round draft picks could be the starting quarterbacks at Soldier Field for the Halloween Day matchup.
The 49ers were intent this offseason to find a quarterback to eventually replace Garoppolo. General manager John Lynch traded up to the No. 3 overall pick. Then, Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan led a month-long exercise to consider their options.
Lance and Fields were among the quarterbacks the 49ers considered after Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson, the top two picks in the draft.
Ultimately, the 49ers opted for Lance, a product of North Dakota State.
When Fields was not selected within the first 10 picks, the Bears traded up to No. 11 to land the Ohio State star.
There is little question the futures of the 49ers and Bears are tied to Lance and Fields. But it remains to be seen when those transitions will occur.
Even if Lance and Fields do not open the season as the starters, both teams figure to have specialized packages for their dual-threat quarterbacks. Their playing time could vary from week-to-week.
One natural spot in the schedule when a change could occur is generally following a bye week. The 49ers’ bye week is Week 6.
The 49ers come out of their bye week with an Oct. 24 game against the Indianapolis Colts at Levi’s Stadium, followed by the Oct. 31 game against the Chicago Bears.
Chicago’s bye week comes in Week 10 -- two weeks after the game against the 49ers.
Dalton signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Bears in the offseason to be the team’s placeholder quarterback until their young player was ready to take over.
Garoppolo has two years remaining on his contract at more than $25 million per season.
CEO Jed York recently said he is comfortable with Garoppolo remaining the starter for two seasons if he plays well and the 49ers are competing for Super Bowls.
“Knowing it’s the most important position in sports, and it’s great to have a guy that you do believe in and has gotten you to a Super Bowl,” York said on 49ers Talk. “So you don’t have to put the weight of the world on a rookie, whoever it was we were going to choose. And now that we know Trey is here, you don’t have to put the weight of the world on that kid’s shoulders. And he can grow into that position.”