Payton will likely try to acquire a quarterback via trade or the NFL Draft. A prominent sportswriter has the Broncos trading for a former top-3 pick ahead of the October 31 trade deadline.
“Would the Cowboys be willing to part ways with Lance just weeks after acquiring him for a fourth-round pick? If they could land a linebacker who will help them compete for the top seed in the NFC and get back a chunk of that draft capital, it would make sense,” wrote Barnwell in his October 12 column.
Lance is the third quarterback on the Cowboys’ depth chart behind Cooper Rush and starter Dak Prescott. Barnwell suggests the 2021 first-rounder has the potential of being a developmental option behind Wilson.
“Lance would be a project and a potential long-term quarterback solution if the coach grows weary of Russell Wilson. Lance would have a clearer path to reps as early as the end of the 2023 season,” said Barnwell.
Barnwell also noted Lance’s contract would be a “low-cost, high-upside option” for the Broncos given their lack of draft capital and cap space.
Trey Lance’s Forgettable NFL Career Since Being Selected as the 3rd Overall Pick
Despite starting only 17 games at North Dakota State, Lance was a can’t-miss prospect in the eyes of NFL scouts.
During his rookie season, Lance was the second-string quarterback behind Jimmy Garoppolo. Lance started two games in 2021, completing 57 percent of his passes for five touchdowns. He also rushed for 168 yards and another touchdown.
He finally got his chance to start in 2022, but it ended in disaster. Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2. Later that season, the legend of Brock Purdy overtook the Bay Area, signaling the end of the Lance era.
Lance was initially the third-string quarterback in San Francisco before being traded to Dallas on August 25.
Denver got an up-close look at Lance in Week 2 of the preseason. Lance rallied the 49ers to 12 points in the fourth quarter, leading a game-winning drive that ended with a 32-yard field goal.
NFL GM: Russell Wilson Would be Traded ‘Right Now’ If He Had a Market
The fate of Wilson in Denver has been a hot topic ever since Payton was hired. His future ahead of the 2024 offseason will be speculated throughout the rest of the regular season.
Per Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post, an unnamed NFL general manager believes Payton would trade Wilson in a heartbeat if presented with the opportunity.
“He’d trade the quarterback right now if there was a market for him,” said the anonymous general manager in La Canfora’s October 24 article.
Wilson has performed better under Payton compared to his lone season with Nathaniel Hackett at the helm.
Through seven games, Wilson has completed 66.4 percent of his passes for 1,499 yards, 13 touchdowns and four picks. Wilson is also seventh in the NFL with a 99.0 passer rating.