The San Francisco 49ers were expected to be in the market for a quarterback this offseason, as Jimmy Garoppolo was set to walk in free agency.
On Monday, Garoppolo agreed to a three-year deal with the Raiders, and while there had been some scuttle about San Francisco possibly holding out until after the Draft to possibly pursue Lamar Jackson in a trade, they found a replacement for Garoppolo quickly in the form of Sam Darnold, who spent the last two seasons in Carolina with the Panthers.
49ers reached agreement on a one-year deal with former Panthers’ QB Sam Darnold, per source. pic.twitter.com/rpJLf1YXxi
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2023
Darnold was solid in the second half of last year with the Panthers as he came back from an ankle injury in the preseason, taking the reins back from Baker Mayfield and PJ Walker. Darnold completed 58.6 percent of his passes for 1,143 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions, boasting a career-best 92.6 passer rating in his six starts. He will join a Niners team that believes they are ready to compete for a Super Bowl, and will create a fascinating QB competition in the Bay.
Darnold joins a quarterback room featuring third-year QB Trey Lance, who is recovering from a broken ankle suffered in Week 2 of last season, and Brock Purdy, who took over for an injured Garoppolo and guided the Niners to 7 consecutive wins prior to losing in the NFC title game to the Eagles when he was hurt on the opening drive. Last year in San Francisco proved the value in having multiple quality quarterbacks on the roster as injuries are always lurking in the NFL, and the Niners appear ready to replicate that with three options they’ll be comfortable with coming into 2023.