5 significant questions for 49ers at quarterback in 2023

Another year, another 49ers quarterback dilemma, and it's not likely one that'll likely be solved as easily as it might seem.
San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Trey Lance (L) and Sam Darnold (R)
San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Trey Lance (L) and Sam Darnold (R) / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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Significant 49ers question No. 3: What if Trey Lance winds up being a third-string QB?

Despite speculation, San Francisco did not trade Trey Lance during last April's NFL Draft. Apparently, according to reports from both then and now, there wasn't a trade market anyway.

As NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported at the time, the 49ers weren't making phone calls either, although Rapoport suggested the Niners could wait until later this summer to trade Lance when his value could potentially be higher, particularly if another team lost its starting quarterback to injury or something along those lines.

The premise of Rapoport's argument? Well, Lance being a QB3 on the depth chart would be pretty "awkward." From a financial perspective, San Francisco can keep all three quarterbacks, Lance, Sam Darnold and Brock Purdy. The combined salaries are worth less than $17 million, which is cheaper than the yearly cost of a below-average starter.

That said, would the 49ers get a little more desperate and try to trade Lance despite their previous lofty investment from 2021? Or would they hold onto him regardless with the understanding that his failure to win the starting job over Purdy or Darnold would effectively tank his dwindling value to almost nothing?

It's not an easy choice.