The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are being mentioned as a potential landing spot for intriguing San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance. The Niners have a plethora of quarterbacks, but the challenge is very few are healthy. Lance is returning to the field after sustaining a season-ending ankle injury last September.
ESPN’s Seth Walder suggested a trade proposal that has the Bucs landing Lance essentially for a 2024 third-round pick and a second-round pick swap. Tampa Bay also receives a 2024 sixth rounder from San Francisco as part of the proposed deal.
“The Bucs aren’t contenders in 2023, so their moves should be focused on saving money and acquiring draft assets,” Walder wrote on August 10, 2023. “But there’s one exception to that framework: chasing quarterback upside. They might as well use the upcoming 17 games as a testing ground for a potential future QB — even if he’s a long shot. That precisely describes Lance. If there’s a 10% chance that Lance can become a long-term solution for the Bucs, that’s still a lot higher than Baker Mayfield’s chances to be that guy.
“In the event that Lance — who is only 23 years old — pans out, the Bucs would retain control in 2024 for cheap and have the right to exercise Lance’s fifth-year option in 2025. Injuries have limited him to eight games over the two seasons since he was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 draft, so there is still a lot of unknown to his game.”
San Francisco Quarterback Trey Lance Has Only Made 4 NFL Starts
Lance’s future as an NFL quarterback is yet to be determined with just four career starts. The Niners planned to turn over the offense to Lance beginning in 2022, but the dual-threat quarterback’s injury may have permanently halted this idea.
What happened next no one could have predicted as Brock Purdy emerged as the 49ers quarterback of the future despite being the 2022 NFL draft’s Mr. Irrelevant, a distinction given to the last pick. Lance still holds plenty of upside as the former No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
Lance’s best collegiate season at North Dakota State came in 2019 when the quarterback threw for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns and no interceptions while completing 66.9% of his passes. The playmaker added 1,100 rushing yards and 14 TDs on the ground.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Could Be a Landing Spot for Trey Lance at the NFL Trade Deadline
It remains to be seen if Lance can recapture this same magic as an NFL signal-caller, but there are plenty of reasons for a team like the Bucs to take a chance on the 23-year-old. Tampa Bay would inherit Lance’s four-year, $34 million rookie contract which still has two seasons remaining on the deal.
Lance is slated to have a $9.3 million cap hit in 2023 and $10.8 million for 2024, per Spotrac, which are bargain numbers for a starting NFL quarterback. The Buccaneers would also have the ability to pick up Lance’s fifth-year option if they deem the quarterback as their QB1 of the future. It would allow Tampa Bay to have full control over Lance’s future for at least three years on reasonable financial terms.
All signs point to the Bucs seeing through the team’s current quarterback competition between Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask before making another major move at the position. Preseason quarterback trades are rare, but the Buccaneers are a franchise to watch at the October 31 deadline if things do not go as planned with Mayfield or Trask. Tampa Bay is a logical landing spot for Lance if the team once again finds itself in the market for a new quarterback.