In a whirlwind of events this week, the 49ers Faithful went from accepting Trey Lance would be the team's third-string quarterback to seeing the former No. 3 overall draft pick traded to the Dallas Cowboys in just over 48 hours.
So, how did it all go down? After the 49ers' preseason finale against the Los Angeles Chargers on Friday night, coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch took questions from the media to explain the three-day saga -- and it turns out the deal was a collective effort.
Lance on Wednesday was informed by Shanahan that Sam Darnold would back up Brock Purdy on the QB depth chart, and the exchange led to "organic conversations" between the two, Lynch said. While Lance remained committed to the 49ers and was ready to compete as QB3, the young signal-caller also told his coach he would appreciate it if San Francisco could find an opportunity for him elsewhere.
"And I had a chance then to talk to Trey, talk to Trey's agent, and I gave him my word that I'd look and see what's out there," Lynch said. "So, we started that process, and it culminated today with Dallas happening. And it felt like a long time, but it was really a short period of time, a couple days where we're talking to teams and teams are reaching out to us, and the end result was what we ended up with."
In his comments, Shanahan stated Lance wanted to end up somewhere he could have a chance to be the backup. After fielding offers from "a number of teams," Shanahan said, the 49ers concluded the Cowboys' offer of a fourth-round pick was a better return for Lance than they anticipated.
“We kind of worked on it together, and I told Patrick Collins, his rep, I told Patrick, ‘Feel free to go out and find teams if you want.’ So, we kind of kept in communication during the process," Lynch said. "And I want to let you guys know, Trey was tremendous during this whole thing. He handled it as well as you could, and just asked if there was a good landing spot I'd be appreciative of that, but if I'm here, I'm here."
Shanahan revealed that after Lance was told he'd be the No. 3 quarterback, the 23-year-old took about an hour and a half to collect his thoughts and return to his coach with the request and asked if he could miss practice.
San Francisco 49ers
Things returned to business as usual Thursday -- no matter how odd it appeared from the outside. But along the way, the 49ers kept Lance completely in the loop.
"The next day [Thursday], he came in and was at our walk-through, was at our meetings last night," Shanahan said. "We didn't know if something would happen today [Friday]. Him and I were communicating about it yesterday. The possibilities of it, told him some teams that were interested. So, I was talking to him about those options last night, what I thought was best, what he did. Then today, some other teams became interested, and if they wouldn't have, he would have been out at that game and stuff, and we would've tried to go with him as our three.
"But some good stuff did come up. And some stuff that I think he's really excited about. And especially after talking to him today, I could tell he was. And some things we are, too."
It's clear the 49ers would have loved to have Lance on the roster as their third quarterback, but instead did right by him in finding the signal-caller a new home where he could have a fresh start.
"As I said on TV today, I think his story is very much unwritten," Lynch said of Lance. "I've got a lot of belief in the kid and think with his talent, with his work ethic, he's going to forge a nice career in this thing. And so, love the kid. Kyle and I, when we broke the news to him today, saw him light up a little bit, and he loves it here.
"He was very appreciative of the opportunity."