Atlanta Falcons players and coaches have expressed a lot of confidence in 2022 third-round pick Desmond Ridder this offseason. In fact, Falcons head coach Arthur Smith already named Ridder the team’s starter behind center for the season.
But based on one report from media personality C.J. Golson, perhaps Atlanta’s front office isn’t as confident in its young signal caller.
Golson reported on July 12 that the Falcons have pursued a trade for quarterback Trey Lance.
“BREAKING: Per source, the Atlanta Falcons have offered a conditional second round pick to the San Francisco 49ers for QB Trey Lance,” Golson wrote in a post on Twitter.
“I’m told the 49ers are expecting to field other offers from around the league, and want to help do what is best for Lance and his camp.”
Rumors have connected Falcons to Lance previously. But those rumors mostly died out early this year.
The last significant mention of Lance as a potential target for the Falcons came in April. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on April 19 that the 49ers were not making but “fielding” calls from teams inquiring about Lance.
In response, The Big Lead’s Liam McKeone named Atlanta one of three possible destinations for the quarterback.
Lance has made four starts in his career, ironically, the same amount as Ridder. Also like Ridder, Lance is 2-2 as a starter.
In eight NFL appearances, Lance has completed 54.9% of his passes for 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He has averaged 8.5 yards per pass attempt.
Lance began the 2022 season as San Francisco’s starter. But he suffered a season-ending ankle injury during Week 2.
The 49ers lost veteran Jimmy Garoppolo to free agency this offseason. As Rapoport indicated, though, NFL teams expect San Francisco to move forward with Brock Purdy as its future starting quarterback.
But San Francisco’s quarterback situation is complicated. Purdy is recovering from elbow surgery and may not be available at the beginning of the 2023 season. The 49ers could keep Lance to start in September.
Although complicated, that situation wouldn’t have an impact on Atlanta’s interest level in Lance. The Falcons offense has playmakers at every position. The unit just needs the right quarterback, and Lance was once good enough to be the No. 3 overall pick in the draft.
But question is whether the Falcons are really interested in acquiring another unproven signal caller. That’s especially worth asking with how complimentary the organization has been of Ridder.
On July 11, defensive tackle Grady Jarrett talked about the belief the team has in Ridder while on Sirius XM NFL Radio.
“He’s just so confident in the things that he’s going to be able to do,” Jarrett said. “And we’re confident in him, the things we know he can achieve because he’s shown the work day in and day out.
“So, I mean, confidence is a great word because he’s going to have the swagger, the talent, and everything to match. So I’d definitely say he’s confident.”
Furthermore, no outlet has confirmed Golson’s report that the Falcons offered a second-round pick for Lance.
It hasn’t been denied either. But with the significance of a potential Falcons-49ers trade involving Lance, if it was close to happening, the rumor likely would have already entered the mainstream.