Top Potential NFL Trade Packages for 49ers QB Trey Lance

For consecutive offseasons, the San Francisco 49ers have a quarterback embroiled in trade rumors. Last year, they kept Jimmy Garoppolo, and that decision worked out for them, but Trey Lance faces a much different situation right now.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, teams have inquired about Lance’s availability with the thought that Brock Purdy will be the 49ers’ starter.

Purdy led San Francisco to the 2022 NFC Championship Game after taking over for Garoppolo (broken foot) in Week 13. Ironically, Garoppolo assumed the starting role in place of Lance, who fractured his ankle in Week 2.

In March, Purdy underwent successful surgery on his elbow, and the 49ers signed quarterback Sam Darnold in free agency.

At the NFL owners meetings, head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that he “expects” Lance and Darnold to split first-team reps while Purdy recovers from surgery. He also said the former has a chance to regain the starting position.

Lance will turn 23 years old in May, and he’s still a raw talent who’s in the early stages of development. In addition to throwing for 797 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions with a 54.9 percent completion rate, the 49ers signal-caller has rushed for 235 yards and a touchdown in eight outings.

The 49ers saw Purdy perform a lot better than Lance in their small sample sizes of playing time, which may give them the confidence to move forward with the former. Yet the latter has drawn interest—likely because of his untapped potential.

If the 49ers trade Lance, we must consider recent deals that involved teams that traded former first-round quarterbacks on their rookie deals to get a feel for the potential market value.

In 2019, the Arizona Cardinals traded Josh Rosen (the 2018 10th overall pick) to the Miami Dolphins for a 2019 second-round pick and a 2020 fifth-rounder. The Cardinals dealt Rosen after he struggled mightily in his rookie campaign, throwing for 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions with a 55.2 percent completion rate. They selected Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft.

In 2021, the New York Jets traded Darnold (the 2018 third overall pick) to the Carolina Panthers for a 2021 sixth-round pick along with second- and fourth-rounders in 2022. Darnold went through ups and downs through three seasons with Gang Green, throwing for 45 touchdowns and 39 interceptions with a 59.8 percent completion rate in 38 contests.

The 49ers might find it difficult to land a second-round pick for Lance. The Rosen and Darnold trades didn’t yield good results for the acquiring teams, and that might make general managers more cautious when dealing for former first-round QBs.

Also, keep in mind that Lance has only suited up for nine games since 2020, his final year at North Dakota State. He’s still extremely raw.

Based on the aforementioned factors, we’ve constructed five trade packages that potential suitors could offer the 49ers for Lance.

Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans AP Photo/Michael Wyke

San Francisco 49ers receive: 2023 4th-rounder (No. 104 overall)

Houston Texans receive: QB Trey Lance

Almost a week away from the 2023 NFL draft, the Texans have become a team of intrigue. Initially, many draft analysts expected them to take a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick, but the Texans could go in another direction.

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler dropped an interesting rumor in his recent seven-round mock draft.

“I’m told there isn’t a unanimous belief among the Houston coaches that available quarterback will be worthy of this pick,” Brugler wrote for his projection at No. 2. “At this point, I’m still leaning Stroud—if not to Houston, then probably to another team that comes up for him.”

Per NBC Sports’ Peter King, the Texans had “significant” trade talks with the Chicago Bears for the No. 1 overall pick before general manager Ryan Poles struck a deal with the Carolina Panthers.

Perhaps the Texans have their sights set on one quarterback, and if the Panthers select him, Houston could pass on this class of signal-callers in favor of Lance.

Remember, new Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans came over from San Francisco. So he’s had an up-close look at Lance over the past two years. If the young quarterback made a decent impression on the 49ers’ former defensive coordinator, Houston may opt to send a middle-round pick for him.

The Texans could go into training camp with Davis Mills and Lance in a battle for the starting position. In the event that the latter shows enough promise, Houston could avoid settling for someone in this year’s class and still get its quarterback of the future.

In Houston, Lance would play behind an offensive line with three former first-round picks, including three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Laremy Tunsil. He can rely on tight end Dalton Schultz as a safety blanket in the passing game. The Texans could use the No. 12 overall pick to select the top wide receiver on their board for a significant upgrade at the position.

Colts head coach Shane Steichen AP Photo/Darron Cummings

San Francisco 49ers receive: 2023 4th-rounder (No. 106 overall), 2024 5th-rounder

Indianapolis Colts receive: QB Trey Lance

The Colts have the fourth overall pick. They will sweat it out for their quarterback of choice on draft day with the Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans and possibly a team that trades up to the No. 3 spot all in the discussion for a signal-caller.

The Colts may not see their quarterback of the future available at No. 4. They can offer a couple of middle-round picks over the next two years for Lance, who hasn’t done much on the pro level, but head coach Shane Steichen proved that he’s able to get the most out of an athletic signal-caller last season.

Under Steichen, who served as the Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator between 2021 and 2022, Jalen Hurts made strides as a passer. Most notably, he improved his completion rate from 61.3 to 66.5 percent.

Steichen ran an RPO-heavy offensive scheme and allowed Hurts to use his legs in the run game. The dynamic quarterback rushed for 1,544 yards and 23 touchdowns as an important component to the Eagles’ top-five rushing attacks in 2021 and 2022.

Steichen can plug Lance into an RPO friendly system as well, bolstering the Colts run game with 2021 rushing champion Jonathan Taylor in the backfield and simplifying the young signal-caller’s reads.

Indianapolis could use its early-round picks to beef up the offensive line and land a wide receiver who complements Michael Pittman Jr. With those additions, Lance would have a solid supporting cast with a chance at a promising fresh start in Indianapolis if he can beat Gardner Minshew for the lead role.

Kirk Cousins AP Photo/Stacy Bengs

San Francisco 49ers receive: 2023 4th-rounder (No. 119 overall), 2024 4th-rounder

Minnesota Vikings receive: QB Trey Lance

The Vikings have a starting quarterback in Kirk Cousins who’s coming off back-to-back Pro Bowl campaigns. With that said, they may want to find his successor as he goes into his age-35 season. Moreover, the 11-year pro’s contract will be void after the 2023 campaign.

NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah provided an interesting note in his late-March mock draft, writing that Minnesota has done its homework on the 2023 rookie quarterback class.

On top of that, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported that the Vikings talked to the 49ers about Lance.

Minnesota has the No. 23 overall pick in the draft, which makes it a long shot for the club to land a top quarterback prospect. As Jeremiah suggested in his mock, the Vikings could take Hendon Hooker on the back end of the first round, but Lance may be an appealing alternative option.

Lance is two years younger than Hooker and has (minimal) exposure on the pro level. Head coach Kevin O’Connell and his staff have a better outlook of what the former looks like against NFL competition, whereas Hooker is pure projection.

In Minnesota, Lance could sit behind Cousins for a year or two. The Vikings can keep Lance under team control through the 2025 term with the fifth-year option. By that time, Cousins may be on the decline at age 37.

Furthermore, Lance can offer another dimension to the ground attack because of his ability to pick up yards with his legs. In the passing game, he would have one of the league’s top receivers in Justin Jefferson and a two-time Pro Bowl tight end in T.J. Hockenson if Minnesota signs him to an extension.

Baker Mayfield Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

San Francisco 49ers receive: 2023 3rd-round pick (No. 82 overall)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers receive: QB Trey Lance

As the Buccaneers move past the Tom Brady era, they should take calculated swings at high-potential quarterback options.

In free agency, the Buccaneers signed Baker Mayfield, who went No. 1 overall in the 2018 draft, and they also have 2021 second-rounder Kyle Trask on their quarterback depth chart.

For Tampa Bay, Lance could be a lottery ticket at a low-to-moderate cost.

To reiterate, the 49ers gave up three first-rounders and a third-rounder to draft Lance with the third overall pick in 2021. Because of his minimal playing experience (eight games with four starts) and production, he’s unlikely to fetch a first- or second-round pick. In an attempt to address the future of the position, Tampa Bay should be able to get San Francisco’s attention in trade negotiations by offering a top-100 selection.

Mayfield signed a one-year deal, and Trask has two more terms left on his rookie contract. Lance would have two years to compete for the starting position with an additional offseason if the Buccaneers pick up his fifth-year option.

Lance would have a solid supporting cast that would help his development. Tampa Bay has two Pro Bowl wideouts in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin with Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen and All-Pro tackle Tristan Wirfs along the offensive line.

By the way, Buccaneers offensive coordinator Dave Canales knows what a fresh start with a new team can do for a quarterback. Last year, he served as the Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks coach and watched Geno Smith win 2022 Comeback Player of the Year after six seasons in a backup role.

Titans general manager Ran Carthon AP Photo/Mark Zaleski

San Francisco 49ers receive: 2023 3rd-round pick (No. 72 overall), 2024 4th-rounder

Tennessee Titans receive: QB Trey Lance

Let’s connect the dots to make sense of this landing spot and trade proposal.

This offseason, Tennessee hired general manager Ran Carthon, who previously accepted a promotion to become the 49ers director of player personnel in 2021, which is the year that San Francisco acquired the No. 3 overall pick from the Miami Dolphins and drafted Lance.

As part of a regime that invested a premium pick in Lance, Carthon may be willing to offer him an opportunity to earn the starting job in Tennessee.

Titans head coach Mike Vrabel said he expects Ryan Tannehill to start in 2023, but the 34-year-old quarterback’s contract voids after the upcoming campaign. Like the Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee may look for a young signal-caller to succeed a soon-to-be 35-year-old quarterback.

With running back Derrick Henry shouldering a heavy offensive load over the past few years, Lance may not have to do the heavy lifting under center right away. Even with swirling rumors around the two-time rushing champion, the Titans would have multiple drafts to bolster their receiving corps before the team asks Lance to take over for Tannehill.

The MMQB’s Albert Breer has his eyes on the Titans as a “sneaky” team in pursuit of a quarterback in this year’s draft class. If Tennessee isn’t able to move up for its prospect of choice and passes on available options with the 11th overall pick, Carthon can pick up the phone can call his former colleagues in San Francisco to acquire a passer with upside.

If Carton thinks highly of Lance based on his time in San Francisco, Tennessee could have the best offer on the table for him.

Maurice Moton covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @MoeMoton.