49ers could trade away one of these 4 players before Week 1

Could John Lynch make a move or two before the 49ers kick off their 2023 regular-season campaign?
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
2 of 4
San Francisco 49ers, Sam Darnold
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Sam Darnold / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

49ers trade candidate No. 3: Sam Darnold

This is an interesting thought, as it's hard to see a market where any team would trade for Sam Darnold, particularly after he flamed out with two different teams, the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers, prior to joining the Niners this offseason.

However, what if Darnold loses the No. 2 quarterback job to Trey Lance? As long as Brock Purdy returned fully healthy, and San Francisco didn't trade off Lance despite him outperforming Darnold in training camp and the preseason, there'd be little reason for the latter to hang onto a roster spot.

Contracts matter here, too, as Darnold will earn $4.5 million on his one-year deal, $3.5 million of which is fully guaranteed. However, according to Over the Cap, a post-June 1 trade would cost the 49ers only $1.5 million in dead money.

Significantly more reasonable.

If Darnold has an excellent training camp and preseason, yet still ultimately loses the competition to Lance, the Niners could shop the other No. 3 overall draft pick and try to sell high in an attempt to convince teams that Darnold merely needed a positive environment in which to thrive and that the talent was always there.