49ers' Top Hypothetical Trade Packages for Trey LanceFebruary 8, 2023
49ers' Top Hypothetical Trade Packages for Trey Lance
The San Francisco 49ers are back in the same spot they were 12 months ago with their quarterback situation.
Instead of trying to trade Jimmy Garoppolo, they face the prospect of potentially dealing Trey Lance in the offseason.
Brock Purdy's emergence over the second half of the 2022 regular season made him the favorite to land the starting quarterback job next season.
The 23-year-old faces a lengthy recovery from a torn UCL he suffered in the NFC Championship Game, but he should get the nod to start for San Francisco in 2023 if he is back to full health.
That leaves the 49ers in an impossible situation this offseason.
Garoppolo is set to become a free agent and there is no reason to retain his services, while Lance started four games in his NFL career and is still an unknown after two full years in the NFL.
The 22-year-old is working his way back from an ankle injury that caused him to miss most of the 2022 campaign.
Lance is damaged goods at the moment, but he could still have some value on the trade market if the 49ers explore that option.
San Francisco needs to feel comfortable with Purdy's recovery timetable, and it needs to find a veteran backup capable of thriving in spot starts to feel at ease about trading Lance.
Trade with Miami
Of course the Miami Dolphins are going to come up first as a potential trade partner.
Head coach Mike McDaniel has experience working with Lance from the 2021 season when he was an assistant on the 49ers staff. He is one of the few coaches with a knowledge of the North Dakota State product's skill set and an understanding of how he is adapting to the NFL.
Miami has quarterback questions of its own because Tua Tagovailoa has a lengthy injury history since he entered the NFL.
The Dolphins may not be willing to bring in an unproven third-year quarterback coming off an injury of his own to act as backup to the 24-year-old.
That is risky business for a team that made the playoffs this season and is looking to achieve a better result than a Wild Card Round exit with a third-string QB at the helm.
The only way the Dolphins can justify trading for Lance is if a cheap deal is brokered. They can't just give away early- or mid-round draft picks for an unproven player.
Miami's potential reluctance to part with meaningful draft picks could end a deal, but the Dolphins have to be mentioned because of the coaching staff's past in San Francisco.
Potential Trade Package: Lance to Miami for 2023 third- and sixth-round pick
Deal with New York Jets
New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh departed San Francisco before Lance was drafted, but he still has connections with Kyle Shanahan's coaching staff.
And the Jets are in need of a quarterback after Zach Wilson failed to pan out.
The Wilson situation could scare New York away from taking a risk on another young quarterback, but if it did explore that route, it could at least have some intelligence on Lance from its 49ers connections.
New York is more likely to be involved in the Aaron Rodgers sweepstakes after landing former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to replace Mike LaFleur.
If the pursuit of Rodgers falls through, the 49ers could at least start up negotiations with the Jets to see if they would be willing to take on Lance.
The problem, as it will be with any potential trade partner, is that San Francisco will not get a ton of value back on the trade market for the QB because of his injury and lack of production in the NFL.
If the two sides can make a deal, the 49ers could get a few draft picks out of the Jets.
Potential Trade Package: Lance to Jets in exchange for 2023 fourth- and fifth-round picks.
Trade with Tennessee
The 49ers have to be calculated with how they approach Lance's trade market.
The last thing they want is to deal him to a competitor in the NFC and he ends up finding success there. Such a move would be scrutinized for years.
However, the list of AFC teams in need of a quarterback trade is slim. Houston and Indianapolis should take QBs with the No. 2 and No. 4 overall picks, while the Jets and Las Vegas Raiders might end up in the Aaron Rodgers chase.
The Tennessee Titans could move on from Ryan Tannehill this offseason, but they may not be convinced enough by Malik Willis' development to give him the starting job.
That may seem harsh, but the Titans should still be in win-now mode given the state of half of the AFC South. Houston and Indianapolis will take some time to regroup before challenging for playoff spots.
Mike Vrabel and his coaching staff could take a risk on Lance at a small cost to give them two young options at quarterback. Lance could have a path to a starting role if Willis does not pan out.
But the return package for Lance could be too small for San Francisco's liking, especially after it sacrificed two extra first-round picks to trade up for him in 2021.
San Francisco's most likely option is to keep Lance, but the trade options should at least be explored if Purdy is the starter of the future.
Potential Trade Package: Lance to Tennessee for 2023 third- and fifth-round picks.