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Could Rams eventually cross paths with Trey Lance?

Imagine Sean McVay working wonders for the former third-overall pick

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Question marks at the game’s most important position have dogged the NFC West all offseason. The Los Angeles Rams for instance have dealt with countless trade rumors involving Super Bowl-winning QB Matthew Stafford. LA’s heated rival residing in the Bay Area is undergoing a quarterback controversy of their own, namely who to start for the 2023 campaign.

Trey Lance began the year as the starting quarterback before suffering a season-ending injury in Week 2 game against Seattle. He has yet to make an impression in the NFL and will have an even harder time with Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy on the roster. Purdy took the league by storm when he helped lead the Niners to the NFC Championship. Retired All-Pro Andrew Whitworth weighed in on the situation and his words don’t bide well for Lance.

The North Dakota State prospect’s career can be defined as a series of unfortunate luck. As early as next offseason, San Francisco could unload Lance should Purdy continue his upward trajectory. An anticipated move would continue a troubling trend of first-round signal callers who aren’t playing for the team that had drafted them. Since 2016, seven of the 24 QBs taken in round one have found new home(s) while two are no longer in the league.

One of those quarterbacks on the move was Baker Mayfield who Sean McVay appeared to breathe life into once he was acquired off waivers from Carolina. Mayfield was responsible for two of LA’s five wins and played fairly competent. His efficient 24-of-28 showing on Christmas day against Denver was one of the best performances of his career.

Could McVay work similar magic somewhere down the line for Lance if he somehow winds up in their laps? It’s possible considering how highly Mayfield spoke of the Rams’ culture following his NVP-winning performance.

So why Lance? Wouldn’t the Rams be better off taking someone in the ‘24 draft? Possibly but as I had noted earlier, the draft is always a crapshoot. Although if the right prospect comes around, LA would be foolish to pass him over. Signing Lance in regards to this post is a hypothetical several years into the future that the team could embark on if they so choose.

Lance is fairly unknown as a player while his ceiling is unlimited. That much is evident about him. He is also, for the time being, part of a winning culture with the Niners yet has never felt like the right fit. The third-year pro has a mere 102 passing attempts in two seasons with an additional 54 carries on the ground. It’s almost like Kyle Shanahan has zero clue how to use him. Either he was too timid to use him in the passing game or ran him like a glorified running back.

In his only start of ‘22, Lance had as many rushing attempts as completions (13) in a season-opening loss to Da Bears. Perhaps Shanahan was trying to break him in slowly but sometimes for a young QB, you have to quit coddling them or they won’t learn a darn thing. He might’ve planned to open the playbook up for Lance but as Whitworth said, he got hurt at the wrong time. There’s several factors as to why Lance hasn’t panned out with the Niners. However, a change in scenery down the road could do him some good and I’m sure McVay and the front office would happily oblige.

There’s obviously no way SF would trade Lance to a divisional foe. My bet is that if things continue to go south in the Bay Area, Trey will bounce around the league in search of a starting job. Let’s be real, did anyone expect LA to push for Baker last year? He didn’t last long with the Rams but it goes to show that McVay and the team did enough to give him the appearance of a serviceable starter once again. With the right situation in place, Lance can morph back into the coveted prospect he was coming out of college.

Imagining Trey Lance in a Rams’ uniform is crazy to think about. Lance has raw talent and has gotten a raw deal ever since he joined the 49ers. Could his fortunes change a few seasons from now in Los Angeles? Time will ultimately be the deciding factor before we ever get that answer.