49ers potential draft-day trade partners for Trey Lance (if that happens)

Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers Trade Partner No. 1: Houston Texans

If the 49ers are adamant they want to trade Trey Lance, they won’t care if they ship him off to a franchise historically riddled with dysfunction.

Yet there’s a lot to still be determined with what the Texans elect to do this offseason. Offloading Deshaun Watson appears to be a foregone conclusion, and the only remaining question is which other team makes the trade and how much will Watson command in return. Based on his abilities alone, multiple first-round picks are the base asking price.

Except there are all those still-unresolved charges of sexual misconduct off the field, muddying the waters a lot.

Veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor is a stopgap. And though rookie signal-caller Davis Mills has flashed some modest potential, his ceiling is likely no higher than a low-caliber starter, and Houston has so many other needs anyway, it can’t afford to bring on a high-cost quarterback as an immediate upgrade.

The Texans do, however, have nearly $40 million in projected cap space, and moving Watson would free up an additional $24.2 million in 2022 alone.

Money that could be vitally needed to build a sufficient supporting cast to help out Lance.

The two-win Texans currently own the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, which would be ideal for the Niners to get back. With high picks in Rounds 2 and 3, Houston might also wind up with even more favorable draft capital after a would-be Watson trade, too, and San Francisco would love nothing more than to get in on that if possible.

Again, only if the 49ers see Lance as nothing more than a trade option at this point, which still feels oh-so unlikely.

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