Three Trey Lance Trade Destinations

Trey Lance
Trey Lance / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Trey Lance might be on the move before he ever got a real shot with the San Francisco 49ers. On Wednesday morning Ian Rapoport tweeted out that teams had been calling the Niners asking about a potential trade for Lance.

Rapoport obviously does not say that a trade is imminent nor that San Fran is seeking out a trade on their own. But the fact that discussions have gotten loud enough that one of the league's top insiders is tweeting about it means a Lance trade is closer than ever before.

Which is pretty crazy! Only two years have passed since the Niners traded three first-rounders to move up and get Lance. He rode the bench in 2021 then started all of three games in 2022 before breaking his ankle. Now it seems like he's lost any chance at starting again because the backup to his backup, Brock Purdy, was so good (and is so cheap) that it would only be smart for San Francisco to ride with him going forward while ditching Lance for assets. A cold world.

While it would be safer to wait to trade Lance until Purdy is recovered from his elbow surgery, if the Niners have the chance to flip Lance for assets to be used in the 2023 NFL Draft, they have to take it. The most they could probably get for him is a third or fourth-rounder at this juncture if a team really buys into his potential but that is better than what any other team could get for their backup quarterbacks.

Here are a few teams that should be interested in Lance (who still has tremendous physical talents for the quarterback position) and have the draft assets to swing a deal.

Atlanta Falcons

From all indications the Falcons are dead-set on heading into 2023 with Desmond Ridder at quarterback after he averaged 177 yards per game and threw two touchdowns in four starts last year. This feels like a result of their lack of opportunity to acquire a QB of the future sitting at No. 8 overall rather than a reflection of their belief in Ridder. Regardless of what reality is, they have little to lose by taking a swing on Lance.

Atlanta has eight picks in this year's draft, including two picks in the fourth round. Perhaps they part with one for Lance, who could do some serious damage in Arthur Smith's offense. If not, the Falcons are still in position to grab Caleb Williams or another top-tier prospect in next year's draft.

Houston Texans

There's been some rumblings lately that the Texans may not pick a quarterback at No. 2 overall because they aren't in love with anybody other than Bryce Young (now the betting favorite to go No. 1). While it's hard to buy into those rumors because it would be insane to voluntarily suffer through Year 3 of the Davis Mills experience, Lance being available could present an interesting opportunity.

The Texans do have a ton of holes throughout their roster and have a whopping 12 picks in this year's draft. It would not hurt to part with one of their Day 2 selections to take a chance with Lance. This way their plan actually makes sense-- use the No. 2 pick to trade back or pick someone like Will Anderson Jr., let Lance and Mills and a vet fight it out in training camp, and see what Lance has. Like with the Falcons, the worst that could happen is that the Texans stink again and end up near the top of the draft for the third year in a row.

Indianapolis Colts

Sensing a theme here? The Colts have lots of draft picks, no quarterback, and are in a tough spot to find a QB in this year's draft. It seems very unlikely at this point that they have a chance to get Bryce Young or CJ Stroud. If they are not in love with Anthony Richardson or Will Levis, then they have no answers and Jim Irsay has made it very clear he wants a franchise QB. Gardner Minshew, signed in free agency, is fun but... not that.

Spending one of their five Day 3 picks to get Lance while investing the rest of their draft capital into a weak roster feels like an optimal use of resources. Newly-minted rookie head coach Shane Steichen knows how to maximize an athletic quarterback. This does feel like the best possible landing spot for Lance in terms of opportunity and a coaching staff that can use him.