What is Next for Trey Lance and the 49ers?

Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers (Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers (Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports) /

The San Francisco 49ers have some questions surrounding them heading into the 2023 NFL season.

Will they get Nick Bosa to sign a contract that benefits both parties? Will Deebo Samuel bounce back now that expectations have simmered? What is the status of Brock Purdy?

The latter was answered on Tuesday by General Manager John Lynch and Head Coach Kyle Shannahan during their media availability. Lynch stated that Purdy is “cleared without restrictions” after offseason Tommy John Surgery on his elbow. The elbow that he injured during the 2023 NFC Championship game remained a hot topic this offseason because of what it meant for Trey Lance.

The former third overall pick, Trey Lance is looking for the 49ers starting quarterback job that he had before getting injured in week two against the Seattle Seahawks. He suffered a horrific ankle injury and saw his season and maybe his 49ers career be gone in an instant.

Odds are not great that Lance earns back the starting job, to be honest why should he? Purdy stepped up and played efficiently for Shannahan in his system and showed he can win with it.

What this does do for Lance however is open up the idea of him being traded to somewhere that may use him right away. Here are three teams who could use him either now or in the future potentially.

Los Angeles Rams

One offensive genius to another, Sean McVay has the ability to get the most out of a young quarterback. Yes, the team does have Matthew Stafford with whom they did win a Super Bowl but is he the answer for this team long term? With a contract that is set to pay him a whopping $49.5 million in 2024. If the Rams trade him after June 1 they would be able to offload $41 million of that and for a team in salary cap hell, that money matters. Lance could be a starter for them in what would be the final year of his rookie contract. Very little risk with massive rewards potentially, make the move Les Snead.

Detroit Lions

Another team with a quarterback set for a huge salary cap hit, the Lions future with Jared Goff also remains murky. He showed he could be serviceable last year within their system under play caller Ben Johnson. General Manager Brad Holmes has shown an affinity to be proactive in building the Lions roster and a move for Trey Lance would be right down his avenue of decision making. While this may be the least likely of the three choices being presented, Lance with Dan Cambell and his staff would have his confidence back and perhaps we get a glimpse of the North Dakota State star we all saw years ago.

Washington Commanders

This team, this is the team that makes the most sense to trade for Trey Lance today. They publicly are all in on giving Sam Howell a chance to earn the starting job this year and beyond, which could happen. What could also happen is Howell falls flat on his face and both head coach Ron Rivera and General Manager Martin Mayhew could be looking for new jobs. The Commanders skill players are more than enough to support a young quarterback, which makes sense for Howell, but also the skillset that Lance has fits the team better.