Speaking with the media on Monday, John Lynch said the 49ers ‘expected’ Trey Lance to be on the roster in 2023, but there’s likely a hidden reason.
Conspiracy theorists never get the answers they want until something actually winds up revealing that said conspiracy was actually true.
Now, whether or not it’s a conspiracy that the San Francisco 49ers are quietly looking to trade quarterback Trey Lance this offseason is up for debate, although multiple reports have suggested they are at least receiving phone calls about Lance’s services. Some, like NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, said while the Niners have been getting these calls, no deals are imminent and San Francisco isn’t actively shopping the No. 3 overall pick from the 2021 NFL Draft.
Would that quell the conspiracy theorists’ ideas that the 49ers are shopping Lance? Absolutely not.
Adding fuel to the proverbial fire that’s creating all this smoke, general manager John Lynch’s comments to the media on Monday will only add more controversy to an issue that should be simple.
The simple part of it all? If the Niners wanted to trade Lance and had a good enough market for him, he’d be gone by now.
John Lynch’s comments suggest 49ers may have wanted to trade Trey Lance but didn’t get what they wanted in return
Remember, San Francisco dished out its own first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, plus two more first-rounders and a third-round pick to move up to No. 3 overall to grab Lance.
It was an expensive deal, the kind few front offices survive if it goes poorly. With Lance having started just four games in the two years since, albeit his 2022 campaign was destroyed by a broken ankle in Week 2, it’s safe to say the investment hasn’t paid off at all yet.
Amid all the questions, general manager John Lynch spoke to the media on Monday to clarify some of the smoke around Lance’s trade rumors.
Here’s what he had to say, transcribed by 49ers Webzone:
"It hasn’t been extremely active, and it’s not like we’ve put it out there that, “Hey, we’re taking offers for Trey. Call 1-800 … .” That’s not been the process. People’s job in this is to ask questions. Has that been what has that happened on a couple of occasions? Sure, but it hasn’t been that substantive.And like I said, we’re focused, as is Trey, on his ability to compete and play an integral role on this team. Last year we needed five (quarterbacks). And so we value every single one of those guys and we’re excited about our group. We really are."
When asked whether or not he envisioned Lance being on the 2023 roster, Lynch had a pretty simple reply.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Lynch responded. “I expect Trey to be here.”
This is where it sounds like Lynch isn’t being overly honest or that they’d be interested in trading Lance. Earlier this offseason, the general manager all but endorsed 2022 rookie quarterback Brock Purdy as the team’s starter going forward despite the fact Purdy is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.
That makes Lance an excess commodity, like it or not. And, if the Niners took those calls about Lance and there was an offer enticing enough, Lynch would have likely pulled the trigger.
Since no deal was made, it’s a pretty simple and understandable suggestion that Lance’s trade value isn’t exactly high.
Why would it be?
Even if San Francisco no longer finds itself interested in Lance’s services, he isn’t going to be traded away for next to nothing.
Perhaps the conspiracy theorists would be satisfied with that answer instead.