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49ers GM John Lynch on trade calls for QB Trey Lance: 'I think there's a lot of smoke'

The San Francisco 49ers have fielded calls regarding potential trades of first-round quarterback Trey Lance, but general manager John Lynch insisted Monday that talks haven't gotten that deep.

"Yeah, I think there's a lot of smoke really," Lynch said on Monday. "It hasn't been extremely active, and it's not like we've put it out there that, 'Hey, we're taking offers for Trey, call 1-800 to,' that's not been the process. People's job in this is to ask questions. Has that happened on a couple occasions? Sure. It hasn't been that substantive and like I said, we're focused as is Trey on his ability to compete and play an integral role on this team. Last year we needed five and so we value every single one of those guys. And we're excited about our group. We really are."

Brock Purdy's play down the stretch of the 2022 campaign thrust Lance's future with the club into question. Purdy's elbow surgery, which won't allow him to throw until June, also adds uncertainty to the Niners' QB situation. Trading Lance would put newly signed Sam Darnold into a fort-holding role until Purdy was fully healthy.

With smoke blowing ahead of this week's draft, Lynch said he plans for Lance to be part of the 49ers' QB room in 2023.

"I expect Trey to be here and we're excited about Trey's ability to compete and what he can do for our franchise just as we were when we drafted Trey," he said. "And I think the only thing that's changed this offseason is that Trey's gone and got himself healthy. He was injured last year. He's done a really good job of doing that. He's done some different things in terms of his training this offseason. He's very encouraged by that. And we'll see when we get an opportunity to get out there on the field with him, but we have every reason to be encouraged as well."

San Francisco invested a lot to trade up to draft Lance in 2021 and has seen little return. The 22-year-old has appeared in eight games over two seasons. He suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2 of the 2022 campaign.

Over the weekend, Lance had no comment when asked about trade rumors, noting that he's preparing to battle for reps this offseason.

"Trey and I have talked and we're on the same page and Trey knows exactly where the situation is," Lynch said of the QB. "His mindset is all about competing and I think that's exactly where his mindset should be. We're excited about the position he's put himself in with the work he's done this offseason to number one, get healthy, number two, improve upon some things that he really wanted to improve upon. And we don't get to watch all of his workouts. I've got a good view. He's definitely excited and I think he has reason to be, so yes, there has been good communication and we're excited about Trey's ability to go compete for a job."

Despite Lynch's statements, rumors regarding Lance's future are likely to continue as we inch toward the draft Thursday and into Friday. If a team antes up an offer the Niners find worthy, they could cut bait and move on with Purdy and Darnold. If Lance remains a member of the 49ers next week, then the focus can turn to a potential training camp battle for the starting gig.

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