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Lance, 49ers agree to rookie contract as camp opens

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Trey Lance

Rookie quarterback Trey Lance and the 49ers made their union official Wednesday.

The sides agreed on the structure of a four-year, $34.1 million fully guaranteed contract -- the years and dollar amount that were fixed for the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

As is the case with all draft picks, after three seasons, the sides can renegotiate the original contract. The 49ers also hold a fifth-year option for the 2025 season. The fifth-year option is a one-year guaranteed salary for the average of the 10 highest-paid quarterback. The decision on the fifth-year option must be made following a first-round pick's third season.

Lance, 21, is shown signing his contract in a photo posted from his agency. The official completion of the contract comes one day after players reported to training camp and on the morning of the team's first practice in Santa Clara.

General manager John Lynch on Tuesday expressed optimism the deal would get done on time.

"I just look at our history since we've been here, we've never had a holdout," Lynch said. "It always seems to go down to the wire and I'm confident. It's important that he is here. I think for any rookie, for every player, every rep counts, every meeting counts. But in particular at that position."

Lance is expected to enter camp as the second quarterback in line for practice snaps — behind veteran Jimmy Garoppolo. It remains to be seen if Lance can insert himself into a competition for the starting job. Coach Kyle Shanahan said there would not be an open competition at the beginning of camp.

 

The 49ers are 24-9 in games Garoppolo started since his arrival from New England in a midseason trade in 2017. But Garoppolo has also missed 23 games due to injuries over the past three seasons.

The 49ers are scheduled to play three preseason games, beginning Saturday, Aug. 14, against the Kansas City Chiefs at Levi’s Stadium. Lance is expected to see significant playing time in the preseason.

The preseason generally does not provide much value for young quarterbacks due to the basic defenses they go up against. But Lance could see significant value to extensive playing time in the preseason because he has played only one game in the past year-and-a-half.

Lance played just one game in the fall of 2020, as North Dakota State pushed their regular season to the spring of 2021. He bypassed his redshirt sophomore season to enter the 2021 NFL Draft.

In his only full season as the starter, Lance led his school to the FCS championship with a 16-0 record. He threw 28 touchdowns without an interception. He also rushed for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Lance was named the winner of the Walter Payton Award for the outstanding offensive player at the FCS level. He also won the Jerry Rice Award as the outstanding freshman at the FCS level.

RELATED: Lance's history shows he's built to succeed as 49ers' franchise QB

The 49ers on March 26 traded up to the No. 3 overall selection, sending the Miami Dolphins their first-round pick at No. 12, as well as first-round selections in 2022 and ’23 and a third-round pick in 2022.

A month later, coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch chose Lance, the third quarterback selected after Jacksonville took Trevor Lawrence and the New York Jets went with Zach Wilson.

As training camp opened around the NFL, Lance and Wilson were the only first-round picks who had yet to sign their rookie contracts.

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