A couple of weeks ago, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk put out the word that the Minnesota Vikings and the San Francisco 49ers had discussed a trade for Vikings’ quarterback Kirk Cousins at this year’s Scouting Combine. Apparently, there were some talks had about another quarterback as well. . .and this one would be traveling the other direction in any potential trade.
According to Florio, the Vikings and Niners also discussed a trade for quarterback Trey Lance, who appears to have fallen out of favor with the 49ers after this past season.
The Niners gave up a lot to acquire Lance’s services in the 2021 NFL Draft, giving up three first-round picks (2021, 2022, 2023) and a 2022 third-round pick to move up and select Lance at #3 overall. Over the past two seasons, Lance has appeared in eight games, starting four of them. He took over as the Niners’ starting quarterback this past season, only to see his year ended by a broken ankle he suffered in Week 2.
After Lance was lost, the Niners still managed to make it to the NFC Championship Game behind a combination of Jimmy Garoppolo (who also got hurt) and 2022 seventh-round pick Brock Purdy. Purdy was injured in the NFC Championship Game, but the team appears to be confident enough in him to start making it known that Lance is available.
Lance, a native of Marshall, Minnesota that went on to star at North Dakota State, certainly has some potential, but is it the sort of trade that the Vikings would make? The team clearly needs an answer after this season after their (apparent) decision to not extend Kirk Cousins’ contract beyond 2023 and no heir apparent on the roster. Unfortunately, Lance hasn’t put a whole lot of film at the NFL level over the past couple of seasons, so it could be a bit tricky for Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and company to put a deal together for him.
In addition, these talks happened before the Vikings’ restructured Cousins’ contract to open up some more cap space for this season. That would increase the dead money hit that the team would take this season, which might be a bridge too far given that the Vikings are already pretty tight up against the cap.
Still, as we’re now just a week and a day away from the 2023 NFL Draft, it’s another situation worth keeping an eye on.