QB trade rumors from 2023 remind us how different life could be for the Vikings

Dallas Cowboys QB Trey Lance
Dallas Cowboys QB Trey Lance / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

A year ago on Friday, a report was shared by ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio that the Minnesota Vikings had talks with the San Francisco 49ers during the 2023 offseason about a possible trade involving quarterback Trey Lance.

It was one of the many reports and rumors in 2023 that tied the Vikings to Lance, who grew up playing high school football in nearby Marshall, Minnesota.

In the end, the 49ers did wind up trading Lance before the start of the 2023 season, but it wasn't to the Vikings. The Dallas Cowboys turned out to be the team that ended up acquiring the young quarterback from San Francisco last year, and all they had to send the 49ers was a 2024 fourth-round draft pick.

Minnesota Vikings hoping to avoid similar mistake the San Francisco 49ers made in 2021

Before Lance was shipped to the Cowboys, he was someone that San Francisco had actually given up a bunch of assets to acquire back in the 2021 NFL Draft.

A few weeks before the 2021 draft, the 49ers sent three first-round picks and a third-round selection to the Miami Dolphins to move up from the No. 12 slot in the opening round to the No. 3 pick. With that third overall selection, San Francisco decided to use their pick on Lance, a 6-foot-4, 226-pound raw signal-caller out of North Dakota State.

As a rookie, Lance only appeared in six games for the 49ers, but two of them were starts. He showed some flashes of why San Francisco traded so much to move up and draft him, and he did enough to get the chance to open up his second season as the team's Week 1 starter.

Unfortunately for Lance, he suffered a serious ankle injury in Week 2 of the 2022 campaign, and he wound up having to miss the rest of the season.

Little did the young quarterback know, that Week 2 game would end up being his final appearance in a 49ers uniform.

The emergence of Brock Purdy in 2022 certainly played a role in Lance's departure from San Francisco last year, but it also felt like the team had realized that he just wasn't a fit for their offense. So, instead of dragging things on any longer, the 49ers stuck with Purdy and traded Lance to Dallas.

While some Vikings fans might have wanted the team to trade for Lance, they are likely happy about this year, as Minnesota finds themselves in a similar situation to San Francisco in 2021.

The Vikings currently own picks No. 11 and No. 23 in the first round of the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft, and many are assuming that they're going to attempt to trade up in the opening round to select one of the top quarterback prospects, just as the 49ers did in 2021.

If Minnesota ends up acquiring one of the top picks in the first round of this year's draft, however, they will be hoping to avoid mistakingly selecting the wrong quarterback prospect, something the 49ers were unable to do in 2021.

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