There’s been some smoke about the 49ers trading Trey Lance this offseason, and apparently, the return package is much lower than what it cost to acquire him.
Yes, there is plenty of chatter out there about the San Francisco 49ers potentially trading away their high-profile investment from the 2021 NFL Draft, quarterback Trey Lance.
Heck, we’ve even discussed it here at Niner Noise.
The short of the situation is this. Lance, who was already raw coming out of college at North Dakota State and had only one full year as a starter, 2019, has started a mere four regular-season games since that point entering the 2023 season.
That’s not a lot. And, after the Niners rode then-rookie quarterback Brock Purdy all the way to the NFC Championship game down the stretch of the 2022 season, it’d be fair to assume Purdy is favored by San Francisco’s top brass despite undergoing offseason elbow surgery and potentially not being ready for the start of the 2023 campaign.
Lance, meanwhile, has become something of an afterthought, particularly in the wake of the 49ers inking former New York Jets and Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold in free agency.
Fair or not, especially with Lance missing almost all of 2022 because of his own serious ankle injury, the Niners may be looking to walk away from that lofty investment that cost three first-round picks and an additional third-rounder in the 2021 draft.
Should they do so, they may look to recoup whatever they can, and it won’t come close to the original investment, according to one recent rumor.
49ers rumor says Trey Lance could be traded for only a 2nd-round NFL Draft pick
Now, the recent reports and rumors don’t say San Francisco is actively shopping Lance. Considering Purdy might not be back until a few weeks into the regular season, why would the 49ers risk thinning out their quarterback room?
That said, if the right offer came about, Yahoo! Sports NFL Insider Charles Robinson thinks Lance could be on the move.
With 95.7 The Game’s Larry Krueger sharing what Robinson said on You Pod to Win the Game Podcast, Robinson says a second-round pick would be enough to get Lance via a trade:
"The compensation for trading for Trey Lance can’t be… I guarantee, I think if you offered San Francisco a two (second-round pick) for Lance right now, you’d get him. I truly believe that. If you offered a second-round pick for Trey Lance, you’d probably get him right now."
As Krueger pointed out, the Houston Texans are likely looking to upgrade over quarterback Davis Mills, and hew head coach DeMeco Ryans had plenty of time to watch Lance in practice over the last two years.
Houston isn’t in a position to win now, whereas the Niners are. Plus, if San Francisco’s assistant general manager Adam Peters departs to join Ryans in Houston, perhaps that’d be enough to prompt a trade between the two teams.
The 49ers would be admitting a massive gaffe on their part if they did so.
But, if they feel Lance isn’t ever going to be “that guy,” walking away sooner rather than later is always the smart move.
It’ll be interesting to see if that’s the play, though, between now and the 2023 NFL Draft later this April.