Trey Lance

Trey Lance reflects on ‘tough' news he'd lost 49ers backup QB battle

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Trey Lance has had quite the week, but the NFL doesn't stop for anyone.

After being traded to the Dallas Cowboys on Friday, the former 49ers quarterback spoke to reporters about his situation Tuesday and reflected on his final days with San Francisco -- specifically, the conversation he had with coach Kyle Shanahan when he learned he lost the 49ers' backup competition to Sam Darnold.

"Kind of really trying to move on, but yeah, it definitely took some time," Lance said. "That conversation obviously wasn’t something I wanted to hear, but that’s the reality of the situation."

After the 49ers' preseason finale Friday -- and just hours after the trade -- Shanahan told reporters that when Lance was informed he'd be the No. 3 quarterback before Wednesday's practice, the 23-year-old took about an hour and a half to collect his thoughts. He then returned to his coach with a trade request and asked if he could miss practice.

Lance took the news hard, general manager John Lynch said.

"Trey handled it incredibly well, with class," Lynch said Thursday on KNBR's "Murph & Mac" show. "He was devastated and rightly so. When you put your heart and soul into something and it doesn't come to fruition, you're going to be devastated, and that's the type of competitor he is."

Ultimately, San Francisco granted Lance's request and sent him to Dallas in exchange for a 2024 fourth-round draft pick. It was the best offer the 49ers received, Shanahan said, as the Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions also reportedly were interested in acquiring the No. 3 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Lance spent just two seasons in the Bay when all was said and done, with injuries stalling his development and Brock Purdy's success last season pushing the North Dakota State product out of the starting role in which he began the 2022 campaign.

But there's no hard feelings as Lance looks forward to his new opportunity with the Cowboys.

"And nothing but respect and gratitude for everyone [with the 49ers] -- coaching staff, locker room, obviously the athletic training staff, everyone that I spent a ton of time with these last few years," Lance said. "Obviously it was tough, but for me it was kind of trying to figure out what’s next and what’s going to happen in the future."

The 49ers Faithful certainly won't be rooting for the rival Cowboys any time soon. But with Lance now in the Lone Star State, it's safe to say the fans of the team that drafted him will be keeping their eye on how he fares in Dallas.

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