Here’s why Brock Purdy won’t force 49ers to trade Trey Lance

Trey Lance #5 and Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Trey Lance #5 and Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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Brock Purdy has all but secured his claim as the 49ers’ starter in 2023, meaning Trey Lance could be a tradable asset. But don’t bank on it happening.

No fault of his own, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance remains a “what if?” commodity despite having been in the league for nearly two full years since the Niners aggressively traded up for and used the No. 3 overall pick on him in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Lance, the rookie-year backup to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, never got much of a footing during his first season as a starter a year later in 2022, suffering a broken ankle in Week 2 that allowed Garoppolo to reclaim his starting job once again.

Of course, Garoppolo’s own foot injury in Week 13 led to San Francisco’s latest revelation, rookie quarterback Brock Purdy, who has seemingly turned into an unstoppable force amid the 49ers’ push into the postseason.

Even if the Niners’ 2023 playoff run comes to an end before reaching the Super Bowl, Purdy has all but cemented himself as head coach Kyle Shanahan’s starter next season.

So, what does that make Lance? An excess commodity? A tradable one?

Perhaps. But it’s not likely.

Shanahan and the front office have a (rightful) reputation for entertaining any offer, and the need to improve the team by whatever means will always be there.

However, don’t expect Lance to be shoved onto the trade block all of a sudden. Here are the reasons why.

Reason No. 1: Brock Purdy still has plenty to prove

There’s little doubt how much of an impact Purdy has had in not only keeping San Francisco in contention but arguably making it a better team, too, and the stats justify it.

However, five regular-season starts and a playoff win don’t quite add up to the conclusion that Purdy is the long-term answer. Those efforts point in the right direction, yes, but the final pick from the 2022 draft still has to proverbially “back it up” with even more positives between now and Week 1 of next season.

Originally, the 49ers intended to have Lance be the long-term starter, while Purdy could have potentially developed into a decent backup.

Perhaps the roles have switched, but the Niners’ investment in Lance is still at the point where crowning Purdy as the starter while shipping Lance away would be way too premature.

Especially considering the “veteran” in the room won’t be there any longer.