49ers news: Trey Lance rumors only fuel Aaron Rodgers speculation

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) Mandatory Credit: Phil Carter-USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) Mandatory Credit: Phil Carter-USA TODAY Sports /

The latest rumors about the 49ers fielding trade calls for Trey Lance are only driving a shortsighted idea of Aaron Rodgers being traded to the Niners.

Offseason quarterback talk sure gets old.

Unfortunately for the San Francisco 49ers, this seems to be yearly. After all, the Niners haven’t exactly solidified themselves at the position since the Steve Young era, so it makes sense why it’s such a hot topic annually.

This go-around, the scuttlebutt is that San Francisco could potentially trade its prized selection from the 2021 NFL Draft, quarterback Trey Lance, after he made just four regular-season starts and missed the bulk of his first year as a full-time starter, 2022, after suffering a serious ankle injury in Week 2.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the 49ers had received multiple calls asking about Lance’s availability via trade, as those teams fully speculated that last year’s up-and-coming signal-caller, Brock Purdy, would be cemented in as the Niners’ starter in 2023 despite undergoing offseason elbow surgery.

There are plenty of reasons why San Francisco won’t trade Lance. Yet the chatter about it all certainly drives another speculative move that should go away but ultimately isn’t.

The Green Bay Packers trading Aaron Rodgers to the 49ers.

If 49ers trade Trey Lance, they’ll then trade for Aaron Rodgers, right? Right?

At least that’s part of a theory in play here.

The New York Jets are still attempting to make a deal with Green Bay for Rodgers, but those talks are apparently breaking down. And the Niners could swoop in at the 11th hour and make a blockbuster deal.

Such is the chatter from outlets like Yardbreaker that’ll continue to push the theory about San Francisco being a contender for a Rodgers trade:

"Rodgers’ name has gained more traction with the 49ers in recent days. The Jets and Packers can’t seem to agree on compensation for the 39-year-old quarterback. The 49ers, like the Jets, are in win-now mode. The 49ers have an elite defense and playmakers on the offense. A quarterback like a healthy Rodgers could have made their NFC title game against the Eagles much different. They have to be thinking about every option to win this season, and Rodgers would help them if Purdy can’t play."

Read More: No, Niners won’t be trading for Aaron Rodgers this offseason

Purdy’s injury and Lance’s trade rumors are helping drive the Rodgers-to-49ers narrative.

Unless fans are buying the notion that No. 3 quarterback Sam Darnold, acquired in free agency this offseason, is a viable option to start in the event that Purdy is still recovering and Lance is traded.

Since Darnold shouldn’t be, the Rodgers chatter will only grow.

It shouldn’t either.

Restate thesis: 49ers won’t, can’t trade for Aaron Rodgers

Niner Noise has set it before (from multiple writers here), but it bears revisiting. The Niners are unable to trade for Rodgers for two primary reasons:

  1. They don’t have enough cap space
  2. They don’t have the return compensation

Unless San Francisco decides to trade away three or four of its best (and most expensive) players to the Packers for Rodgers, such a deal can’t go down. This is precisely the reason why NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco also reinforced the reality that Rodgers isn’t heading to the 49ers in 2023:

"There are multiple factors that would suggest the 49ers are not interested in paying the price of doing business with Rodgers and the Packers.First, Rodgers’ contract calls for him to make $59.5 million in guaranteed money this season.The 49ers are near the bottom of the NFL in salary cap space with just $3.839 million available, per the NFL players union. …Per reports, the Packers are looking for a first-round draft pick from the Jets to complete the trade. The Jets have not budged. Of course, a first-round pick is not an option for the 49ers, who do not have a first- or second-round selection in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft."

Even if the Niners trade Lance this offseason, that’d only clear up approximately $9.3 million and nowhere near enough to pay Rodgers unless Green Bay absorbs the cost, which it won’t.

Still, until Rodgers is physically playing wherever he is going to play in 2023, it’s likely that San Francisco will still be looped in as a likely destination regardless.

And the Lance speculation isn’t causing that to end.

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