San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance's once promising career with the team came to an end on Friday after the team traded the former no. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to the Dallas Cowboys for a 2024 fourth rounder. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan can't help but wonder what could have been. Shanahan spoke candidly about Lance's tenure in San Francisco after the trade to the Cowboys went down, admitting that he felt he “let Trey down“, per Cam Inman of The Mercury News.
“I always feel like I let Trey down,” Shanahan said. “I wanted him to come here. I believed in Trey. I believed in him before we took him. I’m responsible for that.”
Shanahan said that he “believed in Lance”, taking full responsibility for the quarterback's failure to live up to the high expectations he faced with the 49ers.
A standout at North Dakota State, Lance's dual threat abilities caught Shanahan's eye, as the 49ers traded their 2021 first rounder, two future first rounders and a third rounder for the pick to take Lance.
Lance made just two starts as a rookie in 2021, as Jimmy Garoppolo led the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game. He then earned the starting job before the 2022 season, but suffered a season-ending injury after making just a pair of starts.
Lance seemed to remake himself this offseason, working on his throwing motion after experiencing arm soreness.
Yet, Lance still found himself on the outside looking in, as San Francisco brought in former first rounder Sam Darnold to compete for the backup job behind Brock Purdy.
When Darnold won the backup job, there simply wasn't a place on the depth chart for Lance, who wants to be a no. 2 quarterback in the NFL.
And Shanahan is sad to see him go.