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La Canfora: Shanahan colleagues expect him to bench Lance if 49ers lose to Seahawks



© Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Another week, another speculative report about a changing of the guard with the 49ers’ quarterback situation.

This time, it’s Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post reporting that if SF loses at home on Sunday, a QB change could happen.

“This team thinks it has Super Bowl potential, and the internal hope was that games against the rebuilding Bears and Seahawks might help provide a soft opening,” La Canfora writes. “Gulp. If the 49ers open 0-2, people who have worked with and for Kyle Shanahan anticipate that Garoppolo will be starting by Week 3′s Sunday night meeting with a strong Broncos defense.”

That would be a pretty drastic move two games into Lance’s tenure, especially given how open the team was about wanting to move on from Jimmy Garoppolo.

La Canfora referenced his report last week discussing the Garoppolo contract adjustment, referencing people “around the league” who “scoffed” at the idea the 49ers won’t bench Lance.

Their thesis is that the Garoppolo contract, which saves the team at minimum, $10 million — and that’s if he plays most of the season and wins a Super Bowl — is such a strong deal that he’s expected to play this season.

Quoting a “contract negotiator” for an NFL franchise, La Canfora wrote, “Look at the level of detail that went into that contract. That’s not the kind of thing you do for your backup, right before your raw quarterback makes his first Week 1 start, if you aren’t concerned about him. The deal is structured the way it is because Garoppolo is likely to play. Or they expect him to play. My guess is sooner rather than later.”

He says that Lance’s “shaky performance in the final preseason game precipitated what had been a fluid process between Garoppolo and the team reaching its conclusion, according to individuals with knowledge of the situation.”

Would the 49ers really go back to Garoppolo after spending three first-round picks on Lance? They have said otherwise. Only time will tell.