NFL Legend Jerry Rice Confident In San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Trey Lance: ‘The Sky’s The Limit’

by Dustin Schutte

It might be Trey Lance’s time to shine with the San Francisco 49ers. With Jimmy Garoppolo coming off shoulder surgery, there’s a strong belief that Lance – a second-year quarterback out of North Dakota State – will be the starter to open the 2022 NFL season.

If that’s the case, Lance has full support from legendary receiver Jerry Rice. Even though the quarterback didn’t see much action during his rookie year, Rice sees a lot of potential in Lance on the field.

“Trey Lance is raring to go,” Rice told’s Total Access. “He has that strong arm, he had that mobility, he can throw the ball deep, but he brings a dimension to the game where he’s able to extend plays, so defensive coordinators are going to have to plan for that.”

Lance started just two games for the Niners during his rookie campaign in 2021 and played in six total contests. He completed 41-of-71 passes for 603 yards and five touchdowns with just two interceptions. The 49ers finished 1-1 in Lance’s two starts.

Along with Lance’s passing ability, Rice really likes how the quarterback can move his feet. It provides him with a different way to hurt opposing defenses.

“The sky’s the limit for him, to be honest,” Rice said. “I was shooting a commercial with him … and I was running routes for him. It didn’t take me long to be on the same page with him. He’s got that rocket arm, but he’s also got that mobility and that vision where he can extend plays and throw the ball downfield. So, I’m sure with repetitions on the field, the players really just building around him, he’s going to have a successful year this year.”

Whether Trey Lance is the answer under center immediately or not, the one thing Jerry Rice has no interest in is a quarterback carousel. The receiver says the San Francisco 49ers must stick with either Lance or Jimmy Garoppolo for the season.

“I don’t know what the Niners are going to do with Jimmy G and Trey Lance,” Rice said. “I know one thing: We don’t want that carousel of back-and-forth during the season. I think you have to name someone as the starter. You have to go with that individual and then you build around that quarterback.”

Lance might be Rice’s pick to take the starting job, but there is some risk involved. Lance’s experience is minimal compared to what Garoppolo brings to the field.

Garoppolo has 47 career starts under his belt. Last year, he led the 49ers to a 9-6 record in 15 games while throwing for 3,810 yards with 20 touchdowns and a completion rate over 68 percent. For that reason, Rice believes San Francisco should open up the competition.

“Let them compete,” Rice told KSBW-TV. “Bill Walsh always opened the door for competition. Let them compete and the best guy should be the starter.”