Only two years ago, Trey Lance was the talk of the NFL in the lead up to the 2021 NFL Draft.

In fact, the San Francisco 49ers fell so deeply in love with Lance they traded three first-round picks and a third-rounder to move up to No. 3 overall and select him.

But in only two seasons, Lance has played in just eight games with four starts, enjoying some decent success in 2021 before being injured in 2022 and placed on Injured Reserve.

Now, in the buildup to kickoff of the 2023 season, the 49ers named Brock Purdy the starter and Sam Darnold as the No. 2 QB. That prompted a conversation between head coach Kyle Shanahan and Lance yesterday in which Shanahan reportedly told the QB, “take the day off, get away.”

This morning, Ian Rapoport is now reporting the 49ers are officially looking to trade him.

However, considering his injury last year and where he came fromโ€”D II North Dakota State Universityโ€”the 49ers aren’t expected to get a great deal in return.

Tim Kawakami, who covers the 49ers, believes it could be in the 4th or 5th-round range, but San Francisco may not even be able to get that:

Possible trade destinations for Trey Lance

As we just heard from Rapoport, the Minnesota Vikings are the favorites to land Lance. They inquired about him before this year’s draft and clearly want to help sure up the future at the position with Kirk Cousins on the last year of his deal at 35 years old.

Two more possible NFC destinations are the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Falcons are set to start second-year QB Desmond Ridder while the Buccaneers are lining up Baker Mayfield behind center to start the season. In each of those cities, Lance could possibly find some starts this year.

But what about the Denver Broncos?

Denver Broncos could trade for Lance, but only if the price is right

The Broncos are a good fit for Trey Lance for multiple reasons.

First, George Paton was interested in him coming out of college. Sure, Paton isn’t running the show anymore, Sean Payton is, but the General Manager could lobby for him to the head coach.

Secondly, speaking of Sean Payton, he’s an offensive guru and was able to get solid production out of Taysom Hill at quarterback. It’s possible he could develop a system around Lance in the future. And if Russell Wilson were to be benched or injured, Lance could possibly step in because they have similar skill sets.

Finally, the Broncos aren’t necessarily tied to Wilson. His contract is massive, but there is a reasonable out after this year; $35.4M dead cap in 2024, $49.6M dead cap in 2025.

Obviously, the ideal for Denver is that Payton revives Russ’ career after his worst season in the NFL last year. In that case, Lance would be Wilson’s backup. Lance would also be a possible future at the position, something Denver doesn’t currently have with Jarett Stidham and Ben DiNucci as backups.

Russell Wilson is a big fan of Lance

“He’s a guy that’s going to have a great career,” Russell Wilson said of Lance. “He’s just got to keep working at it and know that there’s going to be some tough days, there’s going to be some great days. It’s one of those things that you just trust the process. You trust the process, you enjoy the journey, and you have tunnel vision. You put the blinders on, you keep working, and there’s always a breakthrough.”

Wilson added, “I’m rooting for him. I think he’s got a lot of talent, a lot of ability, and a lot of years left.”

On top of that, former Niners offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey is with the Broncos and finally healthy enough to practice and play.

Should the Broncos trade for Lance?

Yes, if they can get him for a 5th-round pick. Even a 4th-rounder seems worth it considering the potential he has as a dual-threat quarterback.

However, there are multiple teams in on the young, raw QB, and it seems Minnesota is the early frontrunner.