The 49ers are reportedly receiving trade inquiries about Trey Lance, and they might just move him if a package comes in from one of these teams.
The San Francisco 49ers have three different quarterbacks on their 2023 roster, and each of them has a legitimate reason why they should be named the starter heading into Week 1.
For Brock Purdy, it’s the fact he was at the helm of the NIners’ late run last year that went all the way to the NFC Championship game, and most analysts and pundits are already crowning Purdy as San Francisco’s starter going forward.
For Sam Darnold, he knows that Purdy is dealing with an elbow injury, surgery and subsequent recovery, all of which might keep the second-year pro from being ready by Week 1.
And Darnold also knows that Trey Lance, the 49ers’ prized pickup from the 2021 NFL Draft, now seems to be a lame duck.
This week, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the Niners were receiving multiple calls from teams asking whether or not Lance would be available via trade. And while Rapoport also said “nothing was imminent,” with the 2023 draft just days away, it wouldn’t be overly shocking to see some 11th-hour blockbuster deal go down.
If San Francisco is enticed enough to move Lance, such a trade should come from one of these teams and be satisfactory enough for the 49ers to execute.
Trey Lance trade partner No. 4: Minnesota Vikings
Lance is from Minnesota and grew up a Vikings fan, so the natural fit of playing for a boyhood team has to be there. And while the Niners wouldn’t prefer to trade within the conference, a deal with the Vikings does make some sense.
Veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins is a free agent in 2024 but carries a void cap hit of $28.5 million, according to Over the Cap, meaning Minnesota would have to absorb an affordable signal-caller making well below the mean of starting quarterbacks at about $20 million, annually.
Lance’s $10.9 million due in 2024 works.
Such a trade would finally close the door on the Cousins era, which is a debate in itself among Vikings fans. But, what would a deal look like?
Minnesota picks at No. 23 overall but not again until the end of Round 3, meaning a second-round pick is off the table as far as compensation. But, for the Niners to move into Round 1 of this year’s draft, sending Lance to the Vikings along with one of their three third-round compensatory picks, plus a 2024 second-rounder, should be enough.
Sound costly from San Francisco’s vantage point? Remember, Lance has just four NFL-level regular-season starts. He’s not commanding a first-round pick on his own.
OK, onto the next team.