Why the Falcons aren’t going to trade for 49ers QB Trey Lance

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The Falcons are seemingly not satisfied with Desmond Ridder assuming the starting role in 2023. The unit will see new faces, and I expect Marcus Maritoa to be a cap casualty, given the $12 million savings. Ridder impressed at times but struggled in others. The important thing was he consistently improved and showed poise regardless of the situation. Whoever is brought in will compete with the Cincinnati product for the starting job. Could Atlanta potentially swing a trade with San Francisco and land the 49ers’ Trey Lance?

I’ve seen a ton of discussions regarding a Trey Lance trade on social media from fans of quarterback-needy teams, including the Falcons. From a certain perspective, it makes sense. Brock Purdy has seemingly taken a stranglehold of the quarterback position in San Francisco and will likely head into the 2023 campaign as the team’s starting signal caller.

Purdy was the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft and has performed like a 10-year veteran. He plays in control, knows the offense, and doesn’t put the ball in harm’s way. It’s a credit to Kyle Shanahan and his ability to create an effective system in which many quarterbacks can succeed.

In six regular season games, including five starts, Purdy has thrown for 1,308 yards and 13 touchdowns to only three interceptions on 68.32% passing while also adding a score on the ground, and that success has continued into the postseason. Purdy has posted four total touchdowns and 546 yards on 62.71% passing in the Niners’ two playoff games this year.

Despite Trey Lance entering the NFL as a much more highly-touted prospect, he hasn’t experienced that same level of success. In 2021, the former No. 3 overall pick played in six games, starting two of them. He threw for 603 yards and five touchdowns compared to two interceptions on 57.7% passing, adding 168 yards and a score on the ground. This season, Lance only started in two games before suffering a gruesome leg injury, throwing for less than 200 yards and completing under 50% of his passes, including an interception.

Lance is still oozing with talent, though. He was coveted coming out of the 2021 NFL Draft, and that’s why John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan traded three first-round picks and a third-round pick to select him third overall. If he’s made available, multiple teams will be interested in his services.

But I’m here to tell you the Falcons won’t be trading for Lance because no team will be trading for him.

The 49ers aren’t trading Trey Lance.

Why would they?

The Niners have experienced injuries at the quarterback position as much, if not more, than any other team in recent years. Below are the players who have started games for the team since Shanahan took over:

  • 2017: Brian Hoyer (6) / C. J. Beathard (5) / Jimmy Garoppolo (5)
  • 2018: Nick Mullens (8) / C. J. Beathard (5) / Jimmy Garoppolo (3)
  • 2019: Jimmy Garoppolo (16)
  • 2020: Nick Mullens (8) / Jimmy Garoppolo (6) / C. J. Beathard (2)
  • 2021: Jimmy Garoppolo (15) / Trey Lance (2)
  • 2022: Jimmy Garoppolo (10) / Brock Purdy (5) / Trey Lance (2) 

If anyone knows the value of a competent backup, it’s Shanahan and Lynch. With Jimmy G set to hit free agency, the 49ers will need a reserve quarterback, and it makes sense for it to be Lance, who is still ripe with potential and on his rookie deal.

That’s from a roster-building standpoint, but a potential trade makes even less sense from a business perspective. Lynch and Shanahan mortgaged the team’s future for Lance — three firsts and a third-round pick. With reports suggesting the North Dakota State product could be had for a third-round selection, the 49ers will be reluctant to recoup minimal capital. It’s bad business to sell low for minimal gain.

It makes no sense on any level for the 49ers to move Trey Lance; save your breath on potential Falcons trades.

Photographer: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

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