The San Francisco 49ers have been getting calls about quarterback Trey Lance, and the Detroit Lions should among the teams who have called.
The San Francisco 49ers may not be actively shopping quarterback Trey Lance, but there are plenth of indications they will no longer wait for his potential to be fulfilled. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, several teams have called the 49ers about trading for the third overall pick in the 2021 draft.
Rapoport’s report makes it clear the 49ers are receiving calls from teams, not making them in an effort to shop Lance. It reeks of a leak worded by the team, to say they’re getting ample interest in Lance but they are by no means actively shopping him.
But Brock Purdy is the going to be the 49ers’ starting quarterback once he’s healthy, if general manager John Lynch is to be believed. Sam Darnold was signed in free agency as a contigency option.
The teams who could have interest in Lance easily starts with the Tennessee Titans, with Ran Carthon moving to the GM seat there after spending time in the 49ers’ front office. The Minnesota Vikings are another pretty easy one, and there are others who could consider what they’d part with in a deal for Lance.
The Detroit Lions should be among the teams with serious interest in Trey Lance
The case for the Lions to have interest in Lance goes back to before the 49ers appeared in the NFC Championship Game. During the 2021 pre-draft process, Dan Campbell and Brad Holmes attended Lance’s Pro Day.
After one full season as a college starter at North Dakota State, and two seasons into his pro career, Lance is an unknown commodity. He has made four NFL starts, with 102 pass attempts and 262 snaps on his resume. A right ankle injury in Week 2 ended his 2022 season, and that robbed him of experience or any progress he could have made.
So Lance is truly not that much different than an incoming rookie quarterback in terms of NFL experience, with his 23rd birthday coming on May 9. But he has been working to learn an NFL offense for two years.
Lance of course still has two guaranteed years left on his rookie deal, with a shade over $9 million total due to him in base salaries and roster bonuses. The remaining proration of his $22 million signing bonus would not travel to any acquiring team, instead staying on the 49ers’ books as dead money.
It’d be a cheap two-year flier on Lance right away, adding upside to the backup quarterback situation covering the same years that are left on Goff’s contract. The Lions could end up with their starting quarterback starting in 2024, or 2025.
The 49ers’ asking price for Lance is unclear, to whatever extent they are entertaining offers. But let’s realistically say a third-round pick. That would be well worth it for the Lions, with the draft pick resources they have and the broader roster position they are in.
The Lions are in the market for a young quarterback, whatever that precisely looks like. If Lance was not on the radar before, he should be now.