Options for 49ers with QB situation once again in flux
Brock Purdy’s torn UCL throws a new wrench into the 49ers’ already intriguing offseason quarterback plans.
The initially reported timeline for Purdy’s return is six months, which would put him back in action at or near the start of training camp. And even then there would be a ramp up period for him getting back into football activities.
What the 49ers do in the meantime now becomes the biggest question of the offseason.
It looked like the team might be comfortable going into the year with Purdy as their starter, backed up by Trey Lance and perhaps another veteran QB.
Now with some added uncertainty for the 2022 seventh-round pick, and the sizable question mark that still looms over Trey Lance entering his third season, San Francisco’s calculus at the position might change.
From big names to lesser names, with plenty of familiar names sprinkled in, here are a handful of the free agent quarterback options available for the 49ers this offseason:
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Brady’s desire to play for the 49ers is well known. They opted to pass on him after the 2019 season and he went on to win a Super Bowl that year with the Buccaneers. If San Francisco wants to upend the Purdy-Lance QB room and go with Brady, who turns 46 in early August, it sounds like they’ll have an opportunity to do so.
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Maybe Garoppolo will just be the quarterback of the 49ers until the sun dies and swallows the rest solar system.
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Bridgewater is overqualified for the QB3 gig, but he’s an intriguing name if the 49ers decide to look for a player who can compete for the starting job. He went for 8.6 yards per attempt on 79 throws with Mike McDaniel and the Dolphins this year. It stands to reason he could function just fine in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
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This would be dependent on Darnold’s market, because the 49ers certainly wouldn’t bring him in to be the surefire starter. Darnold had some flashes with the Panthers down the stretch this season that may make him worth a look as a backup with starter’s upside. San Francisco won’t have a ton of money to pour into their QB room though, and Darnold may get a shot as a starter elsewhere.
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This would be the kind of move the 49ers would make if they’re supremely confident in Purdy and Lance as their top two QBs. Beathard, the former 49ers third-round pick, has not had much success in the NFL, but he knows the team and the offense. Those would be valuable assets for the club’s third signal caller to have.
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*Copy/paste the Beathard blurb here, but with Mullens’ name instead.*
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Rush will probably stay with the Cowboys, but he’d be an ideal second or third QB. He’s capable of running an offense and he’s familiar with navigating the backup role. Rush isn’t great by any means, but he’d adequately fill the 49ers’ need at the position with Purdy and Lance atop the depth chart.
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Dalton is a little in between two roles. He’s too good to take on a QB3 job, but he’s not good enough to justify starting him over the 49ers’ two younger QBs. If San Francisco has an inkling Purdy might not be ready for the regular season though, Dalton would make sense in their QB room.
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Keenum fits the QB3 bill…
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…so does Daniel.
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Run it back! The 49ers let go of Sudfeld to keep a roster spot open for Purdy. Now they could bring back a veteran QB who knows their system and conceivably could pick up where he left off battling for the QB2 job.