49ers' activity in QB market could show how they feel about Trey Lance, Brock Purdy


The 49ers are entering quite possibly their most interesting offseason in a while at the quarterback position. Jimmy Garoppolo is a free agent, Trey Lance is recovering from an ankle injury, and Brock Purdy is still awaiting surgery for his ruptured UCL.

Lance and Purdy are expected to compete for the starting job if they’re both healthy, but that seems to be a pretty big if at this point. The 49ers will be in the market for a third quarterback and who they go after could very well signal how they feel about their young duo.

Evan Giddings and Marc Grandi of the Audacy Original Podcast “The 415ers” discussed what the 49ers might do and what it could mean for Lance and Purdy.

“Say they do want to go after someone like an Andy Dalton, someone like a Marcus Mariota,” Grandi said (7:40 in player above). “If they do that, I think they are telling you what they feel about Trey Lance. If they go out and get someone who’s better or expected to do more than just be a third-stringer on a good team, I think that will be the Niners telling you we’re not so sure that Trey Lance can do much for us, at least right now. I don’t think that’s the case but if they were to go after someone like that…”

It takes two to tango and if one of the more experienced quarterbacks on the market sign in San Francisco, it’s safe to assume that he’s not signing up to be a third-string quarterback when Lance and Purdy are healthy.

“If the Niners do go after one of those guys I think you read between the lines and you can learn their true feelings about Trey Lance because to this point everything they’ve said has been positive about him but it’s not their obligation to tell us in the media the truth,” Grandi continued. “I think if they go after one of those bigger name guys, despite the fact that they are well past their prime, it tells us what they actually think about Trey Lance.”

The 49ers had high hopes for Lance out of college. They traded multiple picks to move up and select him with the third overall pick in 2021. However, he’s started just four games in his NFL career.

Lance should be healthy by training camp, if not sooner, but Purdy’s timeline isn’t nearly as clear. That could also play a factor in who the 49ers target in the quarterback market.

“I think it also tells us a little bit about the cloudy timeline that surrounds Brock Purdy,” Giddings said. “Essentially, what I read from it, Marc, is you never know, right? OK, so with Brock Purdy let’s say the swelling doesn’t go down. They continue to push it a week at a time. Eventually, then you’re looking at a six-month timeline that aligns even closer to the regular season.

And then I wholly understand where not necessarily the 49ers don’t have confidence in Trey Lance but they haven’t seen enough to have confidence in his play. And so at that point, if you’re looking at a … veteran quarterback, to me, what that would signal from the 49ers is we want to bring in a guy who can compete. And that’s why also those quarterbacks would want to come into San Francisco a la Jimmy Garoppolo last year.”

It’s going to be an interesting offseason in San Francisco and the 49ers’ activity in the free-agent market is going to be extremely telling regarding how they feel about Lance and Purdy’s timeline.

LISTEN on the Audacy App
Sign Up and Follow Audacy Sports
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Featured Image Photo Credit: © Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports