Over the past couple of days, I’ve seen a lot of chatter on Twitter about Trey Lance being on the trade block, as the 49ers have three solid quarterbacks on their roster. I saw a few reports saying he could be had for as little as a third-round pick. Now, just to be clear, I don’t think there’s any way the ‘Niners up and trade a quarterback that they gave up three first-rounders for the opportunity to draft for just a third-rounder. And, to be even more clear, it is my opinion that the Minnesota Vikings are in a very good situation at quarterback and there’s no reason to be looking for a new one (at least not yet).
But you know what? It’s the offseason, and Trey Lance is from Minnesota. So, for the sake of entertainment and an attempt to satisfy our Vikings' needs for one more day, I give you three reasons why the Vikings should trade for Trey Lance, and three reasons why they shouldn’t.
Why should the Vikings trade for Trey Lance?
He would bring a whole new element to the offense.
Bringing in Trey Lance would give Vikings fans what we’ve wanted for years: an exciting, dual-threat quarterback. In his one full game this season, Lance went 13/28 passing for 164 yards, and ran it 13 times for 54 yards. These aren’t insane numbers by any means, but you can tell by his highlights that he is a gifted runner and an accurate passer. I mean, look at this:
i’ll never give up on Trey Lance. pic.twitter.com/5etDdBuVuu— n*cky (@IMiss2019Gallup) January 21, 2023
Just the thought of adding his running ability to an already explosive offense is enough to make any Vikings fan salivate, right? Adding such a young and dynamic quarterback to this offense would make for some awesome plays.
His contract and (theoretical) trade price are very cheap.
If it is indeed true (it’s probably not) that a third-round pick could get Trey Lance, that’s an absolute steal. My guess is that he’s more of a mid to late first-round value still, maybe top of the second round. I just can’t wrap my head around a third-rounder for a player only two seasons removed from the third overall pick, even with his injury, inexperience and all. I think it’s more reasonable to say that the Vikings could trade the 23rd overall pick for Lance, straight up. And, honestly, it’s still a really good deal for the purple, in my opinion. We don’t know much about how he would pan out, but isn’t that true of any young quarterback? He’s still got two years left on his rookie contract, with a fifth-year option available to pick up. Depending on how he performs, he would need an extension pretty soon. But, for a season or two, he wouldn’t be too expensive to keep around.
He’s from Marshall, Minnesota.
Okay, it might not be a great reason, but come on, who doesn’t want another homegrown Minnesota guy to replace Adam Thielen? A homecoming for Lance would be fun for all of us. I can already hear Christina Pink giving a sideline report before the week one game, talking about Trey Lance and his childhood home. It just feels so right.
Why shouldn’t the Vikings trade for Trey Lance?
Kirk Cousins is playing at a very high level.
Kirk was lights out for most of the season. With the exception of the Packers game, Kirk showed up and led the team to 11 one-score wins, making his living in the fourth quarter. In the Wildcard matchup with the Giants, Kirk had one of his best games. Ideally, Kirk gets extended this offseason in a way that relieves some of the cap hit for this season. Whether you’re a Kirk lover like me or a Cousins hater who will likely troll me on Twitter, you can’t deny that Kirk is a big reason why the Vikings were so successful this season. He should be a part of the team going forward.
Lance has a lot of unknowns.
In his only game this season, while he did have quite a few accurate passes, Lance also threw a fourth-quarter interception into double coverage and missed throws on the 49ers’ final drive of the game. (although it was pouring rain at that point.) Maybe he was trying to do too much in an effort to lead his team to a comeback? Coming off a broken ankle, we as fans have no idea how that will affect his career going forward. In his only full collegiate season playing for the FBS powerhouse NDSU Bison, he put up some absolutely wild stats, (192/287, 28 touchdowns and not a single interception) but wasn’t playing against future-NFL talent. Lance has only started four games in his NFL career, so we really have no idea what this guy is like in the professional league. Is it worth moving on from Kirk for someone who has so many unknowns?
The Vikings need all the draft capital they can get to reload the defense.
This is the big one for me. With not a lot of wiggle room in the cap space department, the Vikings need to put together a nice draft class. Giving up a first or third (or both) for Lance would put them way behind in the draft. It just doesn’t make sense to me to trade for a quarterback when we have an excellent offense and a top ten quarterback already on the roster, and the defense was absolutely horrible this season. The priority should be to get younger on defense so they can stay competitive in the playoffs. There will be other quarterback options down the line when Kirk isn’t strapped to the team with a huge contract. I say there’s no need to jump the gun.
So, is it a bad idea?
I really like Trey Lance, and I think he could have a lot of potential in the NFL. However, with so many unknowns about him, I don’t think it's wise to go after him right now. If the Vikings were to swing a trade for him, what would they do about Cousins? If they cut him, they eat $48.75M in dead money... so that’s really not an option. He has a no-trade clause in his contract. Lance could sit behind Kirk, but what if Kirk keeps playing at a high level? If they start Lance, then they have a 36 million dollar Kirk Cousins sitting on the bench. So, in short, I think it’s a bad idea to trade our first-rounder for Trey Lance. But, if somehow the 49ers accept a third-rounder for Lance? Oh yeah, I’m all over that. Even if he just winds up backing up Kirk for two seasons, so what? At least we have an intriguing insurance policy if he gets hurt. But if the Vikings trade a first-rounder or more for him, I'm not sure I would be too happy.
Well, everyone, that's my opinion. What’s yours?