The addition of veteran quarterback Sam Darnold to the 49ers quarterback room has changed the conversation heading into offseason team activities.
The 49ers are yet to formally announce the Darnold signing, but he reportedly is signing a one-year deal worth $3.5 million guaranteed, with an additional $7 million in playing-time incentives.
On the latest episode of the 49ers Web Zone “No Huddle” podcast, hosts Zain Naqvi, Al Sacco and Brian Renick discussed Darnold and how he might affect Trey Lance and Brock Purdy.
“You can’t go to camp with just Trey at quarterback,” Naqvi said. “I think that from a strategic standpoint, it was a good move to surround yourself with somebody that has starting experience and some success in this league. I don’t wanna see Sam Darnold taking any meaningful snaps, but I don’t mind the move at all.”
Purdy will likely be sidelined until the beginning of the regular season after recently undergoing shoulder surgery. Lance is recovering from his foot/ankle injury last year, so a veteran like Darnold, with 55 career starts, makes sense.
Darnold has 61 career passing touchdowns and 55 career interceptions, which is an ugly ratio, but perhaps coach Kyle Shanahan can help him prove why he was drafted No. 3 overall in 2018.
“He doesn’t have to chuck the ball down the field in this offense,” Sacco said of Darnold. “He’s got Christian McCaffrey in this offense, he’s got Deebo Samuel, he’s got George Kittle, he’s got Brandon Aiyuk. He’s got all these guys. Kyle will make it easy for you. He hasn’t been successful so far, but can he become a system quarterback in Kyle’s system? Maybe they think he can.”