The San Francisco 49ers have a burden of riches at quarterback, but they will inevitably have to decide between Trey Lance and Brock Purdy. However, Lance is being urged to move onward from San Francisco before his third NFL season begins.
The former North Dakota State suffered a season-ending ankle injury early on in 2022, leading to Purdy getting an extended run as the team’s starting QB and going 7-1 and as a starter. Purdy has his own injury and recovery to deal with, but it seems likely that he will be the team’s starting QB once healthy.
With that in mind, Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay believes Lance should pursue a trade. From Kay’s perspective, Lance has a better chance of long-term success elsewhere.
“Keeping Lance around as one of the league’s most intriguing backups is one path the squad could take, but it won’t help the Niners as much as the potential returns they could get by trading him…” Kay writes. “There are several other destinations where he would get a real shot at proving he’s a viable NFL starter, rehabilitating his career while returning some much-needed capital to San Francisco.”
Trey Lance on Competing with Brock Purdy
If Lance does want a trade away from the 49ers, he hasn’t said that publicly yet. Instead, the young 49ers QB is focused on competing for the starting role with Purdy and Sam Darnold.
As Heavy previously covered, Lance spoke on the current state of the QB room on the first day of OTAs. Lance is gracious for the chance and has nothing but praise for Purdy.
“My opportunity is just to come in and compete and that’s all I wanted. I don’t want to take anything away from Brock and no one should be able to take anything away from Brock. He did what he did last year and he deserves all the credit in the world,” Lance said.
Lance should be healthy enough to start by Week 1, while Purdy is likely going to need more time despite being ahead of schedule. In the meantime, Lance will need to show he’s a step above Darnold in order to seize his next opportunity.
49ers QB Ahead of Recovery Schedule
No matter who the 49ers decide to go with as the primary starter in 2023, the team wants all of their options as healthy and ready for the season as possible. So it’s only good news that Purdy is about a week ahead of schedule in terms of recovery.
Purdy threw for San Francisco on May 30, leading to general manager John Lynch to speak on his progress. The former NFL linebacker is enthusiastic about what he’s seen.
“There are certain markers that you hit,” Lynch said Wednesday on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “He was 12 weeks out, and that meant it was time to throw. He did so and responded really well. He’s just had one session thus far, but we’re incredibly encouraged by that. And Brock’s a worker. If you give him a task, he’s going to do everything in his power.”
That’s an encouraging sign, although Purdy still has a long path to a full recovery.