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Baldy explains why the 49ers should hold onto Trey Lance

Aug 22, 2023 at 10:39 AM

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Trey Lance had a strong finish in the San Francisco 49ers' exciting preseason win over the Denver Broncos on Saturday night. The third-year quarterback led an eight-play, 64-yard game-winning drive capped off by a 32-yard Jake Moody field goal. He finished 12-of-18 for 173 passing yards, a touchdown, and an interception.

Was it enough to convince the masses that Lance has a future with the 49ers? That debate continues. However, one NFL analyst wouldn't be so quick to cast off the former No. 3 overall pick.

"Look, you can dress three quarterbacks right now ... whatever the order is, whether it's Sam [Darnold] and Trey, or Trey and Sam," Brian Baldinger said Tuesday morning on 95.7 The Game's "The Morning Roast" show. "But the history says, and it's not a good history, that the 49ers are going to need one, two, or three. They're going to need two or three quarterbacks to finish the season."

The 49ers went through four quarterbacks last season. Lance was the Week 1 starter but suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the team's second game. Jimmy Garoppolo took over the starting job but was injured by early December.

Rookie Brock Purdy came in and surprised a lot of people, helping guide the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game. The injury bug struck again, though. Purdy suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow early in the playoff contest. His backup, Josh Johnson, exited with a concussion. That ended the Niners' Super Bowl hopes.

"It's just their history, whether there's a jinx or a hex or whatever," Baldinger continued. "So I don't think there's any benefit to putting a 'for sale' sign in Trey Lance's yard. I don't see there's any benefit to it. Let the kid hang in there, and maybe he's got to finish a game. Maybe you need him.

"So I don't think you're going to get the value for him if you said, 'Let's go trade him to Green Bay or somebody.' I don't know. But I don't see that there's any value to it. So you hang on to him, and if you need him, maybe he could come off the bench at some point this year, and his game gets elevated from what we have kind of witnessed this year."

Even though he was recovering from an injury, a healthy Purdy was always going to be this year's Week 1 starter. The 49ers made that clear early in the offseason. They know they can win football games with Purdy at the helm of head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense. They saw that last year.

Where does that leave Lance, who still has only four starts on his NFL resume?

"The only problem, honestly, with any young quarterback, and I still put train that category, is this team is loaded, and they're ready to win right now," Baldinger said. "And it's hard to develop a quarterback with a team that's ready to win, and win a lot of games. Just living with the mistakes, which you have to do with a young quarterback and an inexperienced quarterback, is not worth it right now."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Baldinger below.

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