Kyle’s update, 10:25 p.m. PT: Here’s what NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said on TV this morning:
“Here’s my understanding with where it all stands with Trey Lance. Several teams have inquired over the last several days, last several weeks, with the 49ers about potentially trading for the former No. 3 overall pick, Trey Lance.
This really should not be that much of a surprise. Teams can read the landscape. It is very clear that Brock Purdy is expected to be the 49ers starter of the future. Don’t take my word for it, basically take the word of every 49ers executive and coach. They also signed Sam Darnold in the offseason.
Teams are inquiring. Teams are calling. The 49ers have fielded the calls. But not made the calls. I would also not expect a deal to be imminent, if for no other reason than, the 49ers no for 100000% sure that Brock Purdy is going to be healthy to start the season.
If he is not, then perhaps they hang on to Trey Lance. But at least with a young, talented quarterback like this, there is interest.”
My mindset remains unchanged. The more Lance plays, the better he’ll become. The fewer questions such as his processing will pop up as he gets accustomed to the speed of the NFL. Once that happens, the traits that led the 49ers to draft him so highly will show.
By now, you know I don’t think Purdy’s ceiling is much higher than what we’ve seen. That could not be further from the truth for Trey. Some are concerned about Lance having rust after his ankle surgery and that being a factor for him moving forward.
I’d argue Purdy having the same rust off a UCL surgery is just as big of an issue. Make Purdy prove he’s better than Lance. If that’s the case, then deal Trey. But if a team is desperate for a quarterback today, that’s unlikely to change come the end of September.
But it’s also not that simple. The 49ers could be looking to use Lance as a potential trade chip to plug their hole at right tackle. So, if a team with a mid to late first or even an early second round is willing to part ways with that pick, it’ll be difficult to turn that deal down.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted that the 49ers have received inquires from several teams looking into a potential trade for quarterback Trey Lance. Rap Sheet added that conversations have been the result of San Francisco fielding calls, not making them, as other teams are aware that Brock Purdy is likely the future starter.
Rapoport continued, saying no trade is imminent as the 49ers must make sure Brock Purdy’s rehab continues to go as smoothly as it’s been going, but the interest from other teams in Lance has been there.
If you’re a quarterback needy team, you’d be foolish not to pick up the phone and see what the asking price is for Lance. The same can be said for the 49ers, as you have to listen to any offer from any player, whether that’s Lance, Trent Williams, or George Kittle.
Does that mean you’re going to trade said player? Absolutely not. Rapoport was sure to distinguish the difference between the Niners fielding and not making calls.
In my mind, I couldn’t imagine a bigger misstep than trading Lance with the current state of the 49ers quarterback room. Purdy avoided reconstruction surgery, and all signs point to him returning for the first part of the regular season. But falling in love with a quarterback under such a small sample size is a dangerous game.
Would Kyle Shanahan be comfortable with Sam Darnold starting while Purdy recovers? Shouldn’t the asking price for Lance be, at minimum, a first round pick? Wouldn’t Shanahan fall out of love with Purdy as quickly as he fell in love if Mr. Irrelevant had a string of bad games in a row?
There are endless questions. My stance remains unchanged. I’d want to see Lance play with Christian McCaffrey. He’s the engine that makes the offense go. If Lance’s game doesn’t go to another level with CMC and the rest of the weapons, then it’s time to move on.
But it feels like we’re assuming he’d be worse, when there’s a chance the quarterback who’s more physically talented could take the offense to even higher heights, consistently, against anybody, not just a weaker schedule.
Of course, the phone ringing for the 49ers doesn’t mean much. General manager John Lynch could have easily answered, laughed, and hung up after saying, “I’ll take your first and second round pick this year or there’s no deal.”
The salary cap would be another reason San Francisco says no. Any trade of Lance pre-June 1 would result in $11 million of dead money this season and $5.5 million next year, per Over the Cap.
If there were to be a trade, the timing would likely include a pick from this year’s draft, which puts pressure on the 49ers to decide if they’re comfortable moving forward with a Lanc-less roster.
If the Niners are out on Lance, let him play four games with a talented roster, and build up his value, and get more in return after Week 4 of the regular season. Patience tends to pay off in these scenarios.