The San Francisco 49ers have decidedSam Darnold will be the backup quarterback to Brock Purdy this season and the team will explore all options for Trey Lance, a source confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.
The 49ers traded multiple draft picks in 2021 to move up and take Lance with the No. 3 pick but he has struggled to stay on the field during his time in San Francisco, suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2 of the 2022 season.
With the 49ers apparently set to move on with Purdy as their franchise quarterback, they must decide what to do with Lance. The 23-year-old was a top dual-threat prospect out of North Dakota State and mesmerized fantasy managers in redraft and dynasty formats with his passing and rushing ability.
Lance is still young and might be able to reset and resurrect his career elsewhere. Let's explore where he fits best from a fantasy perspective.
The Falcons plan to start Desmond Ridder in 2023 with Taylor Heinicke serving as his backup, but Atlanta is a place where Lance could thrive. If the Falcons decide to trade for Lance, he could offer an alternative for the offense if Ridder underwhelms. We know Arthur Smith loves mobile quarterbacks and the running game. Lance would have a chance to make an impact, surrounded by great young offensive playmakers such asBijan Robinson, Drake Londonand Kyle Pitts.
The Buccaneers, like the Falcons, are another team with uncertainty at the quarterback position. Baker Mayfield is set to make his third straight Week 1 start with a different team and backup Kyle Trask is relatively inexperienced.
Kirk Cousins' current contract situation makes Minnesota a good destination for Lance. Cousins is entering the final year of his contract and it's likely that contract talks won't pick up again until February at the earliest. As we saw with Dalvin Cook, Minnesota isn't afraid to move on from veteran players if re-signing them isn't financially feasible. Lance could serve as the Vikings' contingency plan. He'd get to throw to Justin Jefferson, arguably the best wide receiver in the game.