Would a Trey Lance trade make sense for the Broncos?

San Francisco 49ers v Chicago Bears
San Francisco 49ers v Chicago Bears / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

Reports have surfaced that the San Francisco 49ers are entertaining calls for their former no. 3 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, QB Trey Lance, per Ian Rapoport. However, despite Brock Purdy being labeled early as the team's starter in 2023, he still has to complete a long process of rehab following his ruptured UCL in the playoffs, meaning trading Trey Lance would most likely not be in the best interest of the 49ers organization in the immediate future. Nonetheless, every option is on the table and according to Ian Rapoport, "several" teams have inquired about a potential trade for the 22-year-old. It may be a long shot, but could the Denver Broncos be one of the teams intrigued by the possibility?

Through two seasons in the NFL, Lance has started four games and posted a record of 2-2 in those matchups. In total, Lance has recorded 797 passing yards, 6 total touchdowns, and 3 interceptions on 54.9% completion. Certainly not the best start to his pro career but granted, is still considered to be a 'rookie' to some as he possesses little to no experience.

Now begs the question, how could a trade for Trey Lance work, and would it necessarily make sense for Denver's future? Let's say GM George Paton, who expressed a lot of interest in the young QB pre-draft, still has the same taste for Lance and decides to make an offer to 49ers GM John Lynch. The premise of a trade would likely involve early-round draft picks, meaning the Broncos would need to pull a few picks from their 2024 draft pool, considering the team currently only has 5 picks in the 2023 NFL draft.

As of now, the Broncos are in a very advantageous spot when it comes to draft capital and positioning in the 2024 NFL draft, meaning a trade for Lance is technically possible. However, the specific asking price is unknown at the moment. If John Lynch decides to move on from Lance within the next week with the hope of receiving an early-round draft pick in this year's draft as opposed to future draft picks, then the Denver Broncos are more than likely out of the race at that point.

As for the trade itself, if the Broncos choose to acquire Trey Lance while sacrificing a 2nd round pick in the process, this would raise obvious concerns about how the front office perceives Russell Wilson and where the team seems to be headed in the future. For many reasons, this trade would hurt the immediate morality of the locker room and the perception of how quickly Paton was able to "give up" on Russell Wilson in a sense.

Sure, trading for Lance adds more insurance to a quarterback room that already has its questions however, the team just invested $10M in their backup QB Jarrett Stidham who Sean Payton seems to think very highly of.

"We like the player. I think he's someone that's gonna be great in the room. He's smart. Quietly, that was an important signing for us."

Sean Payton (via Broncos PR)

The overall investment into the quarterback position for the Broncos makes this trade all the more unrealistic considering the number of draft picks Paton handed to the Seattle Seahawks in the trade for Wilson over a year ago as well as the salary cap being linked to that room.

A trade for Lance would only have any validity to it if we're in 2024 and Russell Wilson has a very poor, underwhelming season in 2023. Lance was a very exciting and intriguing prospect coming out of North Dakota State in 2021 and still has loads of athletic talent and a very high ceiling worth teams taking a risk on. However, the Broncos are not one of those teams simply due to the investment already made at that position and the trust Coach Sean Payton and GM George Paton have in Russell Wilson as their starter for years to come.

Next. 5 under-the-radar trades the Broncos could make before/during 2023 Draft. dark