Potential destinations for Trey Lance as the 49ers look to trade their quarterback but reportedly garner little interest. Sam Darnold is allegedly San Francisco’s second choice behind Brock Purdy.
With Trey Lance, the San Francisco 49ers appear to have hit their breaking point. According to information released by NFL Media on Wednesday, Sam Darnold will replace Brock Purdy as the team’s primary backup starting in 2023, pushing the former first-round pick to the position of third-string reserve.
Following this choice, NFL Media also stated that the Niners would talk to Lance about their possibilities, potentially paving the way for a trade outside of the Bay Area.
However, according to The Athletic, the front staff has been looking at trade options for Lance for the whole of the offseason, and the team has never received a sizable offer.
After Kyle Shanahan had to break the bad news to his young quarterback that morning, the head coach decided that Trey Lance shouldn’t participate in practice. According to ESPN, Shanahan advised him to “take the day off, get away” because he thought it would be best for him.
Lance was given control of the 49ers offense last year, but in Week 2, he had an ankle injury that ended his season. Jimmy Garoppolo regained his starting position as a result of the injury, but the veteran suffered a foot injury in Week 13, which allowed Purdy to take over.
In his two NFL seasons, Lance has started two games and gone 2-2. In his eight career games, he has completed 54.9 percent of his throws for 797 yards, five touchdowns, and three interceptions. Unfortunately, the 23-year-old’s early career has been marred by injuries.
He acknowledged in the off-season that a finger injury during his rookie season changed the way he threw the ball, and of course this past season he broke his ankle.
We gave Lance a good shot to take home the second slot this year, but Sam ultimately prevailed, according to Shanahan on Wednesday.
It’s unclear how much Lance can develop at the NFL level, and it now seems unlikely that he will ever be able to reach his full potential while playing for the 49ers. Let’s look at some prospective destinations for Lance if he is in fact dealt because the team is heading in a different way at both the starter and backup quarterback positions.
According to Pro Football Talk, the Vikings and 49ers discussed Lance during the NFL Scouting Combine before to the draft. It makes sense that Minnesota might rekick the tire on potentially obtaining Lance from the Niners since they didn’t make any long-term quarterback moves throughout the draft.
Given that Kirk Cousins is entering the final year of his deal with the Vikings and that neither party appears eager to begin contract talks before the start of the regular season, it’s possible that this will be the quarterback’s final campaign in Minnesota. The worst course of action for GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah would be to sign Lance and use him as a backup while favouring Kevin O’Connell’s offense as a possible Cousins replacement for 2024.
Los Angeles Rams:
At this point, it’s difficult to think of any team dealing for Lance to serve as their starting quarterback right away. The greatest thing he can hope for is to join a team with an aging quarterback that sees him as a possible success, like we did with Minnesota above. It’s possible that the Rams would also fit that description, but it’s unclear whether the Niners would even contemplate dealing him within the division.
However, if they regard him as a backup, it might relieve some of the burden and make them less concerned about the possibility of him blowing them a lead twice a year.
As Matthew Stafford approaches his 35th season, retirement may be on the horizon in the coming few years. The best chance Lance has of one day rising and serving as a long-term option for Los Angeles may be to get him into Sean McVay’s system without any immediate pressure to play.
Wouldn’t this be hilarious? The Dolphins were the team the 49ers moved up with in order to choose Lance in 2021 with the third overall pick. To move up so high in the draft, San Francisco sent out a pile of assets, which Miami finally converted into Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Bradley Chubb. Imagine they also select the QB with that pick after all that!
But there’s more to the Dolphins’ inclusion on this list than just their humorous worth. Given that former 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel is currently the Dolphins head coach, there is a connection between the two organizations.
He spent Lance’s rookie season with him, thus in principle he ought to be well knowledgeable about the quarterback. It’s crucial to understand that this could go either way: McDaniel’s intimate understanding of Lance might be seen as a positive because the coach believed he could unlock his potential, or it could be seen as a disadvantage because McDaniel was fully aware that Lance wouldn’t be a future starter.
If the former is true, Lance would be an intriguing project for McDaniel and potential insurance for Tua Tagovailoa, whose availability in upcoming seasons is uncertain due to a series of head injuries he sustained last season.
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