Should the Vikings Trade for Trey Lance?

Trey Lance in a Vikings jersey.

No, the Vikings don’t need Trey Lance. Yes, Minnesota’s starting Pro-Bowl QB Kirk Cousins is in the last year of his contract, but that doesn’t mean that the Purple and Gold need to look at a quarterback that, despite being loaded with potential, can’t beat out Brock Purdy and Sam Darnold.

Reports coming out of California’s Bay Area indicate that a former third-overall pick will be QB2 behind starter Brock Purdy in San Francisco. That third-overall QB is not the one that the 49ers mortgaged the future on, though, having given up 3 firsts- and a third-round draft pick for Trey Lance. Instead, Sam Darnold beat out the NDSU product in the offseason competition.

There have been rumors that the Vikings and 49ers front offices were working on trading Lance all offseason. Nothing materialized. That didn’t stop the rampant speculation that something might be in the works between the two teams any time Lance had a bumpy practice session. He would be playing for his hometown team if he came to Minnesota, and that creates a lot of pull with fans.

Additionally, these things become significantly more complicated post-draft. Minnesota already has three QBs on the roster with newly drafted Jaren Hall from BYU. Hall has the intangibles to play at the NFL level. Also, he has ample experience in a pro-style offense in college, a significant advantage over many other newer quarterbacks.

Meanwhile Trey Lance had very little tape coming out of college at North Dakota State. He played in 16 games during the 2019 season and put-up spectacular passing and rushing stats (including 28 passing TDs and 0 INTs). However, he only appeared in two games in 2018 and one in 2020. He went undefeated when appearing in games, winning two National Championships. There just isn’t an excess of tape to truly evaluate him. This is true especially when his last full season came over FOUR years ago.

Lance hasn’t been durable onto the field since being drafted. He suffered a finger injury that cost him valuable reps during his rookie year. He healed and had a decent offseason in 2022. Lance made it a couple of weeks before an ankle fracture sidelined him for the rest of the year. This left plenty of opportunity for 2022 Mr. Irrelevant, Brock Purdy, to prove himself a worthy QB1.

The Vikings could likely trade for Lance without giving significant capital, likely a third- or fourth-round pick. But there also is little reason to, especially considering how Lance couldn’t even earn the backup spot in SF. If Jaren Hall doesn’t work out well for Minnesota at the end of the year, this next QB draft class is one of the most stacked in years. They will need as much draft capital as possible to potentially move up. Trey Lance had an amazing college career when he was on the field. However, the risk-reward balance is too skewed to warrant a trade.

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