Proposed Trade Sends Broncos a Former Top 3 Pick

Trey Lance

Getty San Francisco 49ers QB Trey Lance warming up before a game against the Minnesota Vikings.

With there still being some uncertainty with the Denver Broncos‘ quarterback position, all options remain on the table as to who is going to be throwing touchdowns in 2024.

Since Russell Wilson had the worst statistical season of his career in 2022 with the Broncos, there’s hope that he can turn things around in 2023 with head coach Sean Payton, but if things remain bad, changes will come.

On August 8, former Broncos wide receiver Brandon Stokley proposed the idea on his radio show in Denver, saying that the Broncos need to call the San Francisco 49ers to make a trade.

“I’m looking to get one of their players possibly,” Stokley said. “That player is Trey Lance. I don’t think they [49ers] like him. You can deduce all you want, just look over there, look at their actions. They don’t love Trey Lance, they swung and missed on that, but they might’ve hit a grand slam on Brock Purdy.”

“They brought in Sam Darnold also. You look at this guy [Lance] that might be third on the depth chart that they moved up to get. I think they’re ready to wash their hands, be done, and just move on from Trey Lance.”

“Who do we [Broncos] have if this Russ [Wilson] thing doesn’t work out? Even if it does work out, you want a backup, so why not take a swing with Trey Lance.?”

Currently the Broncos have Jarrett Stidham and Ben DiNucci as their second and third quarterbacks.

What Would a Trade Look Like For Lance?

It’s tough to figure out what a trade would look like for a former top three pick that only has started in four games, but Stokley gave his thoughts on what the price could be.

“I’m not giving up a first-rounder for him. I’m just saying it intrigues me and I don’t know what it would cost.”

When asked if he would give up a second-round pick for the former North Dakota St. standout, Stokley said, “Probably not. If I did that, it would be a conditional type of deal and it would be a second-round pick in 2025.”

In recent years, some top quarterbacks that were drafted high were also traded away quickly after entering the league.

In 2022, former first-overall pick Baker Mayfield was traded from the Cleveland Browns to the Carolina Panthers for a conditional pick that would be either a fourth or fifth-round pick in 2024, depending on his playing time in Carolina.

In 2021, Darnold was traded from the New York Jets to the Panthers in exchange for a sixth-round pick in 2021, along with a second and fourth-round pick in 2022.

Former first-round selection, Josh Rosen was traded to the Dolphins in 2019 for a second-round pick and a 2020 fifth-round pick after just one season with the Arizona Cardinals.

“I’d do it for third,” Stokley said.

Lance’s Time in San Francisco

In 2021, the 49ers traded away their 12th-overall pick in the NFL Draft to the Miami Dolphins for the third-overall pick. Miami also received a first and third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft along with a first-round pick in 2023.

The 49ers then selected Lance with their top pick knowing that he was going to be a project at the quarterback position and they figured he could learn behind Jimmy Garoppolo for a year.

In 2022, Lance was named the starting quarterback, but only appeared in two games before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. Garoppolo would start the next 10 games before suffering a foot injury that would end his season in Week 13.

Rookie quarterback, Purdy, would close out the regular season with a 5-0 record for San Francisco leading the 49ers straight to the NFC championship game. During that game Purdy suffered an elbow injury that didn’t allow him to throw the ball forcing the 49ers to lose to the Philadelphia Eagles.

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have both mentioned that Purdy will be the starter for them entering the 2023 season.

San Francisco also added Darnold to the mix in the offseason with the plan for him to be Purdy’s backup.

Back on April 19, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that San Francisco was receiving calls for Lance.

With Lance having the same style of play as Wilson, it might be a good fit for the Broncos to take a flyer on Lance and let him sit behind Wilson just in case things don’t work out for him in Denver.