49ers could trade one of these 5 players before 2023 season starts

Since everyone loves trade talk, the 49ers may look to trade one of these player before Week 1.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (L) and running back Elijah Mitchell (R)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (L) and running back Elijah Mitchell (R) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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San Francisco 49ers, Trey Lance
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers trade candidate No. 5: QB Trey Lance

It's weird just how polarizing quarterback Trey Lance has become among Niners fans.

But, he is. That's the reality.

Lance isn't likely to unseat Brock Purdy as San Francisco's starting quarterback going forward, so the best that Lance can hope for is that Purdy either suffers some sort of massive second-year regression, or as bad as it sounds, a setback with his surgically repaired elbow. Even then, Lance has to beat out another No. 3 overall draft pick, Sam Darnold, for the right to be No. 2 on the 49ers' quarterbacking depth chart.

That said, and regardless of how well Lance performs during camp and the preseason, there'll inevitably be some offensive coordinator or quarterbacks coach coveting Lance on the market, especially if another team winds up losing its starter prior to Week 1 (we've seen this sort of thing before).

As NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said last April during the NFL Draft, having Lance as a third-string quarterback would be "awkward," and it's certainly feasible that the Niners look to recoup some of their investment in Lance, provided they've soured on him as many a report has suggested.

If so, moving Lance for the best possible offer prior to Week 1 would make sense, even if it would likely not come close to what San Francisco gave up to draft Lance way back in 2021.

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