After roughly two and a half years since the San Francisco 49ers drafted him as their franchise quarterback, Trey Lance’s journey with the team has come to an end.
The 49ers agreed to trade Lance to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick, as confirmed by general manager John Lynch on Friday night.
Lance’s departure marked the culmination of a whirlwind 48 hours. First, he learned that Sam Darnold had secured the No. 2 quarterback position behind starter Brock Purdy. Lance missed Wednesday’s practice but returned on Thursday. He was slated to play in Friday night’s exhibition finale against the Los Angeles Chargers but is now headed to Dallas.
Lynch acknowledged the difficulty of the decision to trade Lance but expressed excitement for his future with the Cowboys.
Lance’s contract includes a $940,000 salary in 2023 and a guaranteed $5.3 million in 2024. The trade will result in dead money hits of $8,361,434 this year and $5,540,956 in 2024 for the 49ers.
Lance’s trade has not dimmed the Cowboys’ belief in Dak Prescott, but it does provide coverage for the future. Prescott is under contract through 2024 but faces a hefty $59 million cap hit next year. The Cowboys have expressed interest in extending Prescott’s contract, but discussions have been limited.
Adding Lance means the Cowboys will retain three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster during the regular season.
In his time with the 49ers, Lance started four games and appeared in eight. He threw for 797 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions. His departure marks a new chapter for both him and the 49ers, ending a highly anticipated era that began with his selection as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.