1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
While not necessarily the most likely landing spot, Trey Lance offers much more intrigue under center in 2023 than Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask. And for an organization likely content to simply punt the 2023 season away while they vie for a higher draft pick, adding Lance could give them the opportunity to have their cake and eat it too.
If Lance would play well in Tampa Bay, the Bucs could realistically challenge for what will most likely be the 4th seed in the NFC in a very weak NFC South. In that scenario where Lance plays like a clear upgrade over the current situation, the Bucs don’t have to treat the year as a lost cause from the get (as they’re likely currently planning to).
If Lance wouldn’t play well, it’s right back to square one as things stand today. Baker Mayfield could come in and bridge Tampa Bay through the end of the season, and the Bucs’ record would likely be bad enough that they’d still be squarely in the mix for the top overall pick in 2024.
The Buccaneers have all the tools they need to be a playoff contender in today’s NFC outside of a signal caller. A still-strong offensive line, an excellent WR corps and a serviceable defense are in place and likely to go to waste this season with Baker Mayfield at the helm. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t be intrigued by the prospect of Trey Lance throwing passes to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin – this would be a fun landing spot.
The floor with Lance is obviously low and there’s a chance that he never gets his feet beneath him after missing so much time to open the season. But if Lance could round into anything close to the form that he showed in college, he could have a fantastic ceiling.
2. Minnesota Vikings
The idea with Lance landing in Minnesota is to have him likely fall into an understudy-type role behind Kirk Cousins, much like the Jets currently have in place with Aaron Rodgers and Zach Wilson (also, ironically, from the same 2021 draft class).
In this scenario, Trey Lance offers no immediate fantasy value in redraft leagues and maintains a similarly low, but non-zero dynasty value. By all indications coming out of San Francisco, Lance is very much the project at QB today he was when he came into the league two years ago. The Vikings can stand to have him sit behind Cousins and turn to Lance when necessary should Kirk get hurt, or if Cousins would retire/go a different direction in free agency.
In Minnesota’s offense, Lance would be set up with a very strong set of weapons and a good young coach in Kevin O’Connell. With Justin Jefferson in line for the largest WR payday and Jordan Addison playing on his rookie deal for the foreseeable future, Lance could easily reach his fantasy ceiling with the Vikings if he was ever able to become their QB1.
3. Las Vegas Raiders
A longshot of a landing spot, but Las Vegas would not only be an interconference destination (the 49ers wouldn’t have to face the Raiders often), but also an attractive one given the core of players in place at Lance’s disposal.
What really makes a potential landing with the Raiders interesting is the presence of former 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who Lance won the starting job away from to open 2022 but ultimately ceded it so after going down with injury just two weeks into the year.
The Raiders are likely content to ride out 2023 with Jimmy G at quarterback and will address any needs at the position as they arise, but Lance would be set up nicely with Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers, Josh Jacobs, and rookie TE Michael Mayer if he were to land in Las Vegas.