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Winners and Losers from the Trey Lance trade

Trey Lance is no longer a San Francisco 49er. Let's take a look at some winners and losers from the trade as a whole.


Sam Darnold - There's no one that benefits more from the departure of Trey Lance than the man who "beat him out" for QB2.

Despite not really out-playing Trey Lance in the preseason, Sam Darnold is now in prime position to rehabilitate his career in the Betty Ford Center of NFL offenses. If he's going to do that, he'll need to end drives with scores far more frequently than he has so far (2 scoring drives in 3 preseason games).

Brock Purdy - For as many mistakes as the 49ers made in handling Trey Lance, they appear to be doing the opposite with Brock Purdy. Unlike his predecessor, Brock won't have to deal with a threat over his shoulder the way Lance had to with Jimmy Garoppolo in 2022. Nor has he had to compete with anyone for the job like Lance in 2021. That's exactly how a young quarterback needs to be developed by his organization.

From the locker room perspective, the deck is fully clear for him to be embraced as the leader and face of the organization. Kyle Shanahan may love Sam Darnold, but clearly Purdy has been accepted by the Popular Kids in the 49ers' locker room. George Kittle, Kyle Juszczyk, Deebo Samuel, and Christian McCaffrey all love him, and we know Kyle Shanahan isn't going to make any quarterback moves that ruffle their feathers.

As long as Brock doesn't completely "melt," as Kyle Shanahan put it, he's the unquestioned starter on the team.

Everyone else on the roster - George Kittle mentioned many times this offseason how he's had quarterback controversies almost every offseason of his career. Whether intentional or not, it was a sign of frustration that I believed was shared inside the 49ers' locker room.

Players don't like getting asked about the same things over and over again, particularly when it comes to a subject as sensitive as the quarterback where any answer can suddenly dominate the news cycle.

As weak as it was to see Fred Warner and Javon Hargrave twisting in the wind when the front office abandoned their posts earlier in the week, it's likely the last time any 49ers player will have to answer questions about two possible starters at the position. At least, if everything goes according to the 49ers' plan.


Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch - Not only did they completely botch the end of Lance's tenure in San Francisco, they also made themselves look completely ridiculous when the explained the rationale for the trade in the first place.

First, Kyle Shanahan said they traded up in 2021 because it was the only pick they could get between 12 and 3. As Brian Peacock pointed out on Twitter, the Dolphins took the 49ers' 12th pick and moved up to number 6 on the very same day! Furthermore, the Eagles then took that very same 12th pick and moved up to 10 on draft day.

Kyle then went on to explain that the 49ers didn't think they would be picking that high in the draft again any time soon, and thus wouldn't have the opportunity to draft a franchise quarterback again. Yet again, Peacock pointed out that the Bears had the 20th pick in the round and still were able to move up to 11 that year to grab Justin Fields.

As for Lynch, he continues to a glorified public relations agent who is bad at public relations. I wrote earlier how he contradicted Kyle Shanahan on Thursday, and it didn't improve after that. In two separate media appearances on Friday night, Lynch feigned accountability with nothing but platitudes, and he continues to look like a man with one foot out the door.

Trey Lance Fans - The ovation Lance received in the third quarter of the Broncos game proved he had far more supporters in San Francisco than one would believe based off of 49ers Twitter.

There is something special about seeing a player your team drafted with a high pick lead them to success - particularly at quarterback. Obviously the 49ers could still have that in Brock Purdy, but Lance was The Prince That Was Promised.

After two years of waiting it will always be frustrating knowing that we never got to unwrap that Christmas present.

Trey Lance - Getting away from a team that clearly wanted nothing to do with him is great, but he landed in another bad football situation. He's likely the third quarterback on the roster, which won't give him a ton of reps this season - the one thing he needs more than anything else.

While that does afford Lance the opportunity to learn Mike McCarthy's offense, it's still Mike McCarthy's offense, which hasn't been updated since 2011. It's entirely possible that McCarthy has another early playoff exit and gets fired after the season. That would mean Lance would have to start from square one again with a coach that had no hand in bringing him on the roster.

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Truly bizarre situation that will only be that much more bizarre when Dallas hits the field at Levi's when they play the 49ers. I expect a bunch of people will cheer at their first sight of Lance...


Aug 28, 2023

Poor trey he got traded to Dallas because Kyle doesn’t want him to succeed he will never get reps or beat out cooper and dak

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