The San Francisco 49ers are officially ready to move on from quarterback Trey Lance, floating the former No. 3 overall pick around the NFL in advance of the regular season. With Lance’s future in San Francisco likely over, the Minnesota Vikings seem to be emerging as the favorites to land the young quarterback.
Lance, age 23, never found his footing with the 49ers’ organization. After the organization traded three first-round picks to land him in the 2021 NFL Draft, it essentially used his rookie season as a development year. The plan resulted in Lance starting in just three total games with North Dakota State and San Francisco from 2020-’21, significantly impacting his trajectory.
- Trey Lance stats (NFL): 84.5 QB rating, 54.9% completion rate, 235 rush yards, 4.4 ypc
The 49ers maded Lance their starting quarterback heading into the 2022 season. However, he struggled in Week 1 while playing through monsoon-like conditions in Chicago. In his next game, Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury.
Lance reported to training camp behind starting quarterback Brock Purdy on the depth chart, but San Francisco provided him with the opportunity to compete with Sam Darnold for the backup job. After losing the position battle to Darnold and seemingly being neck-and-neck with Brandon Allen for third-string duties, San Francisco placed Lance on the trade block.
Dianna Russini of The Athletic reported that while the trade market for Lance is quiet right now, the 49ers and Vikings had “serious conversations” about a deal early this offseason. While talks ultimately broke down, there’s a belief that could change if the two sides revisit a deal.
Lance would be an intriguing fit in Minnesota. The Vikings are committed to starting quarterback Kirk Cousins for the 2023 season, but the growing belief is this will be his final year with the team. Lance, who is under contract through 2024, would provide head coach Kevin O’Connell with a quarterback to develop behind the scenes with the hope he could take over as the starter next season.
- Trey Lance contract: $9.3 million cap hit in 2023, $10.85 million cap hit in 2024, 2025 fifth-year option
The Vikings would also still hold a fifth-year option on Lance’s contract, which they could exercise next spring. Based on the team’s previous interest in Lance and the organization’s interest in finding a long-term quarterback, Minnesota has emerged as the favorite to land the 23-year-old.
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NFL insider believes San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings complete Trey Lance trade
No trade with the Vikings or any other NFL team is believed to be imminent. San Francisco is publicly stating that its willing to keep Lance, with head coach Kyle Shanahan telling reporters that he is “really hoping” a trade doesn’t materialize.
However, the expectation around the NFL remains that Lance’s days with San Francisco are numbered. With the coaching staff very confident in Allen as an emergency quarterback and no reps available to help Lance develop, the odds of a trade are higher.
KOA Colorado’s Benjamin Allbright reiterated Minnesota’s previous interest in Lance and shared his belief that the Vikings and 49ers will eventually work out a deal. In terms of specifics, Allbright thinks the deal will involve a pass rusher heading to San Francisco and both teams swapping draft picks.
Minnesota previously floated edge rusher Danielle Hunter in trade talks this summer, but the two sides agreed to a contract resolution. With Hunter locked in as an integral part of the Vikings’ pass rush, a deal with the 49ers would likely involve a rotational pass rusher who could play the same role for the 49ers’ defense.