ESPN Names Vikings the Top Destination for Trey Lance

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A saga that does not end, San Francisco 49ers quarterback and Minnesota-born Trey Lance may be available via trade, and some folks want the Minnesota Vikings to take the plunge.

ESPN Names Vikings the Top Destination for Trey Lance

For a couple of offseasons, as the 49ers navigate quarterback hopscotch, combined with Vikings fans’ mixed enthusiasm regarding Kirk Cousins, Lance’s name and “upside” have leaped into Minnesota’s rumor mill, if only in the shadows.

Vikings the Top Destination
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But on Wednesday, San Francisco named Brock Purdy its QB1 for 2023, Sam Darnold the QB2, and Lance apparently at QB3. That pecking order sent NFL media into a frenzy, deciding when and where Lance should be traded.

And because Lance is from Minnesota and the aforementioned Cousins isn’t under contract with the Vikings after the 2023 campaign, the purple team became the number-one-with-a-bullet destination for his services if the 49ers trade him at all.

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ESPN has even joined the party. Bill Barnwell examined the embryonic Lance trade sweepstakes on Friday, and the Vikings lived at the top of the list. He listed seven teams that should explore a trade and wrote about the Vikings, “They have a blank slate staring them in the face at quarterback. Kirk Cousins is 35 and a free agent after this season. Minnesota used a fifth-round pick on Jaren Hall in April’s draft, but it would be a major surprise if it moved forward with Hall as the starter in 2024.”

Hall is considered a lottery-ticket draft pick. He could eventually blossom as a QB1 in the NFL or fall onto the ash heap of late-round passers who didn’t pan out.

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“Trading for Lance would give the Vikings their first post-Cousins candidate on offense, and if they do fall out of the playoff race this season, Lance could start seeing snaps in December. They’re the best candidate of the bunch,” Barnwell added.

Sportsbooks label Minnesota for about eight or nine wins this season, so “falling out of the playoff race” is a real possibility, at least according to Vegas. If the Vikings season went pear-shaped, they’d evidently get an extended look at Lance (if a trade materialized) to determine if he would be a wise option for 2024 and beyond.

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Overall, a Vikings trade for Lance is unlikely; general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah could’ve traded for him any time during the last six months. But the young executive did pull off a few trades for former high-round draft picks last year, including deals for T.J. Hockenson, Jalen Reagor, and Ross Blacklock. Lance would fit the pattern.

Barnwell also named the Buccaneers, Falcons, Titans, Dolphins, Broncos, and Chiefs suitable landing spots for Lance.

Lance turned 23 in May.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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