SANTA CLARA -- Much has been made about how the relationship between Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance will unfold this season for the 49ers, but the veteran made sure that the rookie felt welcome immediately.
Shortly after Lance was selected by the 49ers with the No. 3 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, Garoppolo reached out to team personnel to acquire the rookie’s phone number so he could welcome him to the team.
On Tuesday, Garoppolo explained why initiating communication with Lance was so important for him.
“For a number of reasons,” Garoppolo said. “I think one, when you get drafted, I went through the whole process of being there, it’s a unique experience and just a crazy night, all the emotions.
“You’ve worked so hard to get to that point and now you’re there and our getting drafted so I just wanted to tell him congratulations. He worked hard to get there, and just start off on the right foot.”
Historically there have been several uncomfortable relationships between incumbent quarterbacks and the rookies drafted to eventually replace them. Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, Joe Montana and Steve Young are among the names that come to mind. But Garoppolo didn’t want that to be the case with Lance coming to Santa Clara.
While the 49ers drafting a quarterback obviously is not an ideal situation for Garoppolo, he has been focusing on what he can control and part of that was making Lance feel welcome.
The eight-year veteran was in a similar situation when he was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2014 draft.
“It’s not every day you get drafted in the NFL, so I hope he enjoyed it,” Garoppolo said.
With limited team reps during OTA practices, the two quarterbacks have been splitting plays on the field. The remaining three quarterbacks have only been involved in individual drills thus far.