Is 49ers surrender on Trey Lance a good thing for the LA Rams?

Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers Trey Lance
Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers Trey Lance / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

When the LA Rams traded quarterback Jared Goff, a 2021 third-round pick, and first-round picks in 2022 and 2023 for veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford, the NFL declared that trade to be both a blockbuster and a high-risk trade that exemplified the LA Rams 'Win Now,' mindset. That trade did, in fact, result in Stafford setting the Rams All-Time Single Season Passing records, WR Cooper Kupp demolishing the Rams All-Time Single Season Receiving records, and the LA Rams winning Super Bowl LVI.

But few acknowledge the fact that the Rams did so incredibly well in that deal. In fact, even now there are those detractors who try to argue the point that is was not worth the risk.

Rams acquire Stafford

Just weeks after the Rams trade for a quarterback, the San Francisco 49ers followed suit. But rather than land a tried and tested veteran quarterback, the 49ers threw a bankroll to draft a rookie quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft by the name of Trey Lance. So what did that trade package look like?

Trey Lance pick

The Rams won a Super Bowl with Stafford under center. The 49ers won . . . nothing with Lance under center.

Who traded better in 2021?

No, this is not an article that intends to throw shade on a struggling and young NFL quarterback, despite the fact that he play(ed) for the LA Rams NFC West Division rivals, the San Francisco 49ers. Instead, this is merely a catalyst for an intellectual discussion. So what is triggering this suddenly timely topic?

Well, just three years after sending a king's ransom to acquire him, the 49ers are surrendering to the fact that Trey Lance simply did not work out, and are trading him away to the Dallas Cowboys for a Day 3 pick.

So what do the 49ers get in return? Well, believe it or not, the young quarterback is getting no better than a Round 4 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft:

So is this a good thing or a bad thing for the LA Rams? Well, in terms of disastrous overspends, the 49ers trade for Trey Lance is getting a lot of stern reviews, some claiming that this particular NFL draft trade is the worst in NFL history. While I don't deal in those types of melodramatic exaggerations, I do think that it did some significant damage to the 49ers roster.

But more than a risk that did not pan out, the 49ers will now place all of their hopes behind quarterback Brock Purdy, a recycled veteran QB Sam Darnold, and journeyman QB Brandon Allen.
While the debate rages on over which team has the better and more effective overall strategy, the debate over which team traded better for a quarterback in 2021 is now completely settled.

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Veteran Matthew Stafford has a Super Bowl ring earned by playing for the LA Rams, and Trey Lance has a plane ticket to Dallas, Texas. And that is where this debate ends.