The first question wasn’t about the game, and instead about the team’s trade of quarterback Trey Lance to the Dallas Cowboys for a fourth-round pick in the 2024 draft. News of the trade came down just a few hours before the team’s kickoff against the Chargers at Levi’s Stadium.
Shanahan gave some insight into why the team opted to deal Lance instead of keeping him on their roster.
“Well we decided our two (quarterbacks) that we were going with,” Shanahan said. “We’ll see how our 53 (man roster) works out to see if we’re gonna keep three (quarterbacks) or not. We told Trey, when we told him that he wasn’t the two, I said we’d like to keep him here as the three, but we also wanna do what’s good for him too and we’ll see how this plays out. We looked into other teams and he told us that he would like another opportunity to go somewhere where he had a chance to be the two. We thought we got some good deals for him. There’s a number of teams involved. To end up getting the fourth was a little better than we’d anticipated, and clears up a lot of money and allows a better situation for him too.”
Ultimately the team decided that a fourth-round pick in next year’s draft was the best deal they’d get for Lance, and that moving him now for that draft pick was more valuable for them than keeping him this year. This comes just one day after general manager John Lynch told KNBR in San Francisco that the team wanted three quarterbacks to insulate themselves from the injury problems they had last season.
Shanahan said Lance didn’t request a trade, and that the deal didn’t happen because of an irreparable rift in the relationship between the QB and the team.
“We were good,” Shanahan said. “I actually had a great conversation with him today. Had a tough conversation when I told him he didn’t win the second job. Today was much easier just going through it the last couple days with him, but no. There was nothing to fix. It was what it was. And I told him when I told him he was gonna be the three if he could find another opportunity that was good we’d allow him to do that. And he did. And we feel he’ll be better for it and we feel we will too.”
The 49ers will now either go into the season with two QBs on the 53-man roster, or keep Brandon Allen as the third quarterback. Allen didn’t get many 11-on-11 reps during training camp, didn’t play in the second preseason game, and went two-of-six for 23 yards with an interception in Friday’s preseason finale.
Meanwhile, Lance will head to Dallas where he’ll work under head coach Mike McCarthy as the backup to QB Dak Prescott in hopes of getting his young career back on track.