Denver Broncos 2024 QB option no. 6: Trey Lance
If Sean Payton was intrigued by the idea of Jameis Winston in 2020 as a former top draft pick with talent and upside, then would the same logic not apply to Trey Lance of the San Francisco 49ers? Obviously, the future of Trey Lance feels more in limbo now than it did back in the Spring when trade rumors really started to ramp up a bit.
The 49ers appear to have found a QB of the future in Brock Purdy, but the status of his health at this point in time is a question mark. That's why the 49ers signed former third overall pick Sam Darnold and that's likely a major reason why Darnold chose the 49ers over likely a variety of other opportunities to be someone's reclamation project.
I wouldn't be surprised if Lance ends up the QB3 of the 49ers by the time the season starts and in that case, I think you can really rev up the trade rumor engine into high gear. And also in that case, I think the price to acquire Lance would plummet. His value, at least from my seat, is already pretty well shot.
We're talking about a guy who hasn't played a significant stretch of meaningful football since 2019, his redshirt freshman year at North Dakota State. Now, that was a very good year for Lance. It's what got him picked third overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. But at the same time, there's only so long you can hold out on a guy's "potential".
I think the Denver Broncos would be a great landing spot for Trey Lance in 2024, almost regardless of what happens with Russell Wilson. Let's say Russ has a decent year in 2023 but not a great or even very good year. The Broncos decide to roll with him again in 2024 but also keep their options open.
I could see a scenario where adding Lance next offseason would make a ton of sense. He is a dynamic dual-threat player at the position, and we've seen what Sean Payton can do with athletes at the QB position in the past. The 2024 season will also be a contract year for Trey Lance, so you could take him on for a year, re-sign him at the end of the season, and try to give him a shot as a reclamation project.
Again, all of this is null and void if Lance goes out and earns the starting job for the 49ers in 2023 and balls out. That seems unlikely at this point, but you never know. If he becomes available, I could see Trey Lance being a very intriguing potential addition for Sean Payton.