The San Francisco 49ers made a huge move up in the 2021 NFL Draft so that they could select Trey Lance No. 3 overall. They had big plans for the quarterback position, as the team committed to making him the starter for the 2022 season.
Trey Lance took all of the first-team snaps in the offseason to prepare him as much as possible for the season ahead. The franchise took a huge risk trading as much away as they did to select him, but they also moved on from a quarterback who had helped lead them to the NFC Championship Game two out of the last three years in Jimmy Garoppolo.
Unfortunately for Trey Lance, he didn’t even make it through two games before disaster struck. In Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks, he suffered a broken ankle, ending his season. Garoppolo also injured his foot, which has led to Mr. Irrelevant of the 2022 NFL Draft, Brock Purdy, taking over under center.
Purdy has played so well, all of the 49ers’ plans at the quarterback position have likely gone out the window. If San Francisco continues winning and takes home the Lombardi Trophy, Purdy will assuredly be back under center as the team’s starter for the 2023 season.
What would that mean for Trey Lance? There have been some rumors floating around that he could ask for a trade. If that were to happen, the Washington Commanders would make for an intriguing landing spot.
San Francisco is never going to recoup the assets that they traded to land Trey Lance, but they can at least attempt to get back some draft capital. His value isn’t very high, but the No. 47 overall pick with conditions attached and a 2024 third-round pick could be a starting spot. Those conditions could hypothetically include the number of snaps he plays and if the Commanders make the postseason.
Washington is desperate to find a long-term answer at the quarterback position. Improved quarterback play in 2022 likely would have resulted in a playoff berth. But, it is fair to question if they would see Trey Lance as a worthwhile risk over Sam Howell.
If the Commanders are going to trade away draft capital to make a move at quarterback, it would likely be for an established veteran such as Derek Carr. If they want to take a shot on a young quarterback, they are better off seeing what Howell has.