Josh Dobbs Ahead Of Brandon Allen For 49ers’ Backup QB Spot?

The top of the 49ers’ quarterback depth chart is set with Brock Purdy. San Francisco will not have Sam Darnold in place as his backup in 2024, however, creating a vacancy for the QB2 role.

Darnold spent last season with the 49ers, and his performance under Kyle Shanahan was sufficient to get him at least a short-term starting opportunity. The former No. 3 pick inked a one-year, $10MM deal with the Vikings in free agency and he will enter training camp ahead of first-round rookie J.J. McCarthy on the depth chart. San Francisco has two competitors to fill Darnold’s role.

One is Josh Dobbs, who joined the 49ers in March on a one-year contract. The journeyman will earn $2.25MM guaranteed and he has the potential to receive an additional $750K in roster bonuses. He is joined by Brandon Allen, who spent the 2023 campaign in San Francisco following a three-year run with the Bengals. Allen inked a one-year deal worth just over $2MM prior to the start of free agency.

While plenty is yet to be decided at this point in the offseason, Matt Barrows of The Athletic writes Dobbs is currently in the lead for the backup gig (subscription required). The 29-year-old found himself on the Browns last summer before he was dealt to the Cardinals. An eight-game run filling in for Kyler Murray as a starter was followed by a trade to the Vikings, a team which used him for four starts after Kirk Cousins‘ Achilles tear. Dobbs has 14 starts and 21 appearances to his name in the NFL.

Allen, 31, has logged nine starts (five of which came with the Bengals in 2020) and 15 total games during his tenure. As Barrows notes, he could have a greater chance of clearing waivers at the end of training camp than Dobbs, something of particular importance if San Francisco elects to carry two passers on the active roster. Teams will be allowed to make unlimited practice squad elevations for emergency third quarterbacks in 2024, so whichever passer is relegated to third-string duties will still likely dress on gamedays. As things stand, Allen is likelier than Dobbs to be in that position.

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