The big news of the day is that the 49ers named Sam Darnold their QB2, relegating Trey Lance to QB3. Furthermore, Lance was not seen at Wednesday’s practice. Who knows if this is Lance acting on his own accord, or if this is a coaching decision. Another reasoning is that the team will hold out Lance for a potential trade.
They could also release Lance, which would be surprising considering what the team gave up to acquire Trey to begin with. Lance has a fully guaranteed contract since he was a first-rounder. It would cost $5.3 million in dead money to cut Lace, so we can take that off the table.
Trading Lance is far more plausible, as the 49ers would save $3.8 million in cap space for the duration of his contract. But, they wouldn’t save over $1 million this season:
If the 49ers do trade Trey Lance, they'll only save $940,000 for 2023, due to him already being paid a $2,820,478 training camp roster bonus, and would save $5,310,717 in 2024, while having dead money hits of $8,361,434 in 2023, and $5,540,956 in 2024.— Jason Hurley/SF=$10,051,833 MIN=$10,314,472 (@49erscap) August 23, 2023
Some are likely wondering if a Lance trade would free up money for Nick Bosa’s deal to get done. But, judging by how the 49ers have constructed contracts in the past, a Bosa deal wouldn’t impact the salary cap in 2023.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted that Minnesota is an option. Kirk Cousins’s contract voids after this season.
New England has Mac Jones. Tampa Bay has Baker Mayfield. Atlanta has Desmond Ridder. There will be teams who come calling, or at least show interest in Lance.