Brock Purdy

QB Rumors: Brady, 49ers, Purdy, Dalton, Eagles, Maye, Jones, Giants, Jackson, Ravens

Kyle Shanahan confirmed Brock Purdy‘s account that provided one final Tom Brady49ers connection. Shanahan alerted Purdy of his effort to lure Brady out of retirement during the younger QB’s rehab from UCL surgery. Brady passed, leading to the 49ers’ Sam Darnold signing.

I actually thought it was giving Brock the biggest compliment,” Shanahan said, via NBC Sports’ Peter King. “I let him know he’s our guy long term. No question. And if Tom Brady wanted to come here and start for one year, that’s the only way you’re not starting when you’re healthy this year. That’s pretty cool. I wanted to assure him, ‘Don’t worry. You’re our guy. But how cool would it be if Tom Brady would be the quarterback here for one season? How cool would it be for you to learn from him?

I mean, if Brock never got hurt, this wouldn’t have been a consideration at all. I’d never have brought it up. But I’ve got to think about the team. What if he’s not ready in September?

Brady’s re-retirement has stuck, with the 46-year-old legend not playing in 2023. The 49ers passed on making a serious pursuit of the Bay Area native in 2020, sticking with Jimmy Garoppolo. Brady was connected to the 49ers in 2022 as well, but when the Buccaneers would not trade his rights during retirement No. 1, he came back to Tampa. The seven-time Super Bowl winner is en route to becoming a Raiders minority owner and FOX’s No. 1 analyst. Purdy, who was back by training camp and showed last season his post-Garoppolo work as a rookie was no fluke, is signed through the 2025 season. The 49ers cannot give him an extension until after this year.

Here is the latest from the quarterback scene:

  • Drake Maye will join Caleb Williams and Jayden Daniels in not throwing at the Combine, according to CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson. Widely expected to be a top-five pick, Maye is only scheduled to meet with teams and go through physicals. A light Indianapolis schedule is mostly available only to surefire candidates to go off the board early, but such prospects are taking advantage of the limited participation option.
  • Not nearly on the level of the Brady-49ers what-if transaction, the Eagles made a strong pursuit for Andy Dalton during last year’s free agency, ProFootballNetwork.com’s Adam Caplan notes. A signing was close here, per Caplan, but Philadelphia pivoted to Marcus Mariota after Dalton chose Carolina’s two-year, $10MM ($8MM guaranteed) offer. The Eagles added Mariota on a one-year, $5MM deal. Barring a Mariota re-signing, Philly will need to add a new backup quarterback soon.
  • Daniel Jones‘ rehab continues to unfold smoothly. Giants GM Joe Schoen expects his starter to be ready for training camp and indicated the sixth-year veteran has begun throwing. Jones is not yet dropping back and throwing, but not yet four months after his ACL tear, the longtime New York starter is progressing toward his goal of a training camp return. Schoen reiterated (via Giants.com’s Michael Eisen) at the Combine that Jones will be the Giants’ starter if healthy. The Giants are still expected to add a quarterback, though one of this offseason’s central storylines is whether that passer will be a first-round pick or merely a veteran backup for Jones. The Giants can get out of Jones’ contract with a modest dead-money sum in 2025.
  • Lamar Jackson did not sign his Ravens extension until draft day last year, stalling his start in new OC Todd Monken‘s system. That did not exactly slow the dual-threat superstar, who won his second MVP award. But the Ravens are giving Jackson more autonomy into the offense’s design this year, per John Harbaugh. The 17th-year Baltimore HC said conversations with Jackson about new offensive dimensions began soon after the team’s AFC championship game loss.

49ers Attempted To Sign Tom Brady In 2023

Tom Brady has stuck to his guns. The legendary quarterback succinctly said last February his second retirement would stick. After Brady backtracked on retirement No. 1 in 2022, this season represented the NFL’s first without his involvement since 1999.

The future Hall of Famer’s hometown team was still interested in a partnership during the 2023 offseason, however. The 49ers, who were linked to Brady in multiple offseasons during his final years in the NFL, attempted one last push to sign the seven-time Super Bowl champion. Kyle Shanahan informed Brock Purdy of a Brady pursuit early during the ’23 offseason, which featured San Francisco’s current starter rehabbing his UCL tear.

That meant so much to me. I remember [Shanahan] saying, if we can get Tom Brady, we’re going to try to get him. And I was like, ‘Yeah, he’s the GOAT. I get it,'” Purdy said, via ESPN.com’s Nick Wagoner. “But something deep down inside me was sort of like, ‘Dude, I just showed you that I can play well in this system. And we were one game away from the Super Bowl.’ … More than anything, I was like, ‘OK, now let’s go.”

John Lynch said last year Brady responded with a thumbs-up emoji after the 49ers GM texted him congratulating him on his career. It certainly appears the 49ers made a more notable effort to convince Brady to come back than it initially appeared.

At the time, the 49ers had Purdy coming off UCL surgery and Trey Lance back after two ankle procedures. The team then gave Sam Darnold a one-year, $4.5MM deal, and that ended up leading Lance out of town via trade. All the while, the only Brady rumors to come out pertained to his status as a Raiders minority owner. That approval process is still on hold, as the 46-year-old retiree prepares to take over as FOX’s lead analyst for the 2024 season.

During his first months on the job, Lynch memorably asked Bill Belichick about Brady’s trade availability. This occurred back in 2017, when the Patriots still had Jimmy Garoppolo on the roster. That ask led to a rather quick shutdown, and Robert Kraft later intervened to keep Brady entrenched at QB by trading Garoppolo to the 49ers for a second-round pick. Brady’s free agency occurred just after Garoppolo quarterbacked the 49ers to Super Bowl LIV, and the Buccaneers and Chargers were the only teams in that race until the end.

In 2022, however, rumblings about Brady being interested in playing for his hometown team surfaced. This came during a complex Brady offseason, which featured the Dolphins being fined for tampering in an effort to have Brady play for Sean Payton. The Brady-49ers rumors came during the QB’s first retirement, and then-Bucs HC Bruce Arians confirmed the team had no interest in trading Brady’s rights elsewhere. Brady soon came back to play his age-45 season, which did not go well.

Still, Joe Flacco‘s stunning re-emergence on the Browns displayed what can happen when an aging quarterback lands in the right offense. Shanahan clearly believed Brady could run his, age notwithstanding, but has otherwise championed Purdy. While hiccups have ensued this season — mainly when Deebo Samuel has been out — Purdy has rewarded the 49ers, earning a Pro Bowl nod in his first full starter season. Purdy’s 9.6 yards per attempt are the second-most by a quarterback since the 1950s, and Kurt Warner‘s 2000 mark (9.9) came in 11 games. The 2022 draft’s Mr. Irrelevant has set himself up as a potential long-term 49ers mainstay, though his draft status continues to inject doubt about his place among the game’s upper-echelon passers.

The Raiders did not view Brady as an emergency option after Garoppolo’s injury waiver came to light last May, and the Jets are not believed to have inquired about a comeback once Aaron Rodgers went down. Although Brady’s 2022 return reminded to keep him on the radar, his spending a season out of football does seem to reaffirm he is done playing.

While this makes for a fun “what if?” regarding San Francisco, the 49ers — who are in their fourth NFC championship game in five seasons — are now a Purdy-centric operation.

49ers’ Brock Purdy Clears Concussion Protocol

OCTOBER 28: Shanahan announced on Saturday that Purdy has cleared the protocol, meaning he is off San Francisco’s injury report altogether. He will therefore be able to play in Week 8 as the 49ers look to avoid their losing streak extending to three games.

OCTOBER 27: Purdy has made tangible progress over the past several days, and it remains possible he will be able to play in Week 8. Shanahan confirmed on Friday (via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner) that Purdy has cleared four of the five steps required to be eligible to return from concussion protocol. If he passes the fifth stage – clearance for full contact – on Saturday, he will be an option to start for San Francisco, something which would delay Darnold’s 49ers debut.

OCTOBER 25: All four of the 49ers’ quarterbacks suffered injuries that took them out of games last season, but Brock Purdy had paused that run of misfortune this year. Not long after completing his recovery from UCL surgery, Purdy looks likely to miss at least one game due to a concussion.

San Francisco’s starting quarterback entered concussion protocol following the team’s Monday trip to Minneapolis, Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday. This points Sam Darnold toward a start against the Bengals in Week 8.

The 49ers signed Darnold to a one-year, $4.5MM deal in free agency, seeking to add a veteran while Purdy rehabbed and Trey Lance returned from a fractured ankle that required two surgeries. Darnold ended up beating out Lance in training camp, and the 2018 No. 3 overall pick has been Purdy’s backup all season.

Purdy began showing concussion-like symptoms on the plane ride back from Minnesota, The Athletic’s Matt Barrows tweets. The 49ers are holding out hope the Mr. Irrelevant investment-turned-starter can clear the protocol in time for Week 8, but since the NFL elongated the process after the Tua Tagovailoa investigation last year, players have more steps to navigate before doing so.

A fourth-quarter quarterback-sneak attempt resulted in Purdy taking a blow to the head from Vikings linebacker Jordan Hicks, though the second-year passer stayed in the game. After ramping up in exercise, Purdy must be cleared by both a 49ers physician and an independent neurological consultant before returning to action. The beefed-up protocols have effectively put a stop to players making instant re-emergences after head injuries, and the 49ers will likely be dealt another setback at the game’s premier position. The team saw Lance, Jimmy Garoppolo, Purdy and Josh Johnson go down last season; Johnson’s concussion in the NFC championship game led to the NFL reimplementing the emergency third QB rule this offseason.

In a short week, the 49ers will face a Bengals team coming off its bye. Darnold, however, is one of the NFL’s most experienced backups. He started 55 games with the Jets and Panthers from 2018-22. The 26-year-old passer finished last season as Carolina’s starter, taking over after the team’s Baker Mayfield experiment fizzled. Darnold has struggled with accuracy for much of his career, not completing more than 60% of his passes in a season since 2019. He was at the controls when the Panthers surprisingly rebounded last season, going 4-2 as a starter.

While the former USC star has yet to establish himself as a dependable option, he has shown flashes and chose the 49ers due largely to Shanahan and the offensive talent in place. That nucleus dwarfs the setups Darnold had in New York and Charlotte, though San Francisco was without All-Pros Trent Williams and Deebo Samuel on Monday. Should Darnold be called upon, he will be the seventh 49ers starting quarterback in Shanahan’s tenure. Brandon Allen, who signed with the team in May, would be in place as his backup.

QB Notes: Purdy, Murray, Colts, Love, Howell

Brock Purdy‘s sensational start to his career doubles as a win for the 49ers‘ scouting department. Had the team not used the 2022 draft’s final selection on the Iowa State quarterback, it would have needed to fend off multiple other clubs in the UDFA chase. The Vikings were prepared to make an aggressive pursuit of Purdy in the post-draft signing period, Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com notes. Purdy said he was considering the Vikings, 49ers or Texans if he went undrafted.

Minnesota does not have a Kirk Cousins heir apparent lined up, though it did draft Jaren Hall this year, and has its longtime starter in a contract year. The Vikings also use a somewhat similar scheme compared to the 49ers, with the Sean McVayKyle Shanahan offenses derived from the Mike ShanahanGary Kubiak system. Purdy landing with Houston probably would not have been optimal, given the state of the organization at that point. Though, the Texans — who used Davis Mills and Kyle Allen as starters last year — would have presented by far the best chance for early playing time. Purdy’s seventh-round 49ers deal runs through 2025.

Here is the latest from the QB scene:

  • Kyler Murray is not yet on the Cardinals‘ active roster, being designated for return off the PUP list last week. But the Cardinals took Murray off their injury report Thursday. While that opened the door to a possible Saturday activation for Week 8, the team lists the two-time Pro Bowler as doubtful for the Ravens matchup. Jonathan Gannon has said the Cards have a ramp-up period in mind for Murray, who is 10 1/2 months removed from his ACL tear. Week 9 or Week 10 have surfaced as windows for Murray’s re-emergence. Though Murray must be activated by Nov. 8 in order to play this season, it will be interesting to see if the Cardinals start him immediately once he is activated or extend the final stretch of his recovery via more Joshua Dobbs starts.
  • Anthony Richardson is not expected to require a second surgery to repair his AC joint injury. The Colts quarterback underwent surgery this week, and Jim Irsay said no new issues emerged during the procedure. Dr. Neil ElAttrache performed the surgery in Los Angeles, per ESPN.com’s Stephen Holder. No timetable exists for Richardson’s return, per Irsay, but given the October operation, he should be ready for offseason work.
  • Aaron Rodgers‘ first Packers season resulted in a 6-10 record, marking a significant step back after Brett Favre guided them to the 2007 NFC championship game. Rodgers finished 11th in QBR in 2008, which preceded an eight-year streak of Packer playoff berths. Through six games, Jordan Love sits 17th in QBR but ranks last among qualified starters in completion percentage (57.5). Green Bay has been outscored 63-6 over its past four first halves. After the Packers saw considerable strides from Love in 2022, leading to the Rodgers divorce, Matt LaFleur indicated (via ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky) the team’s confidence in the fourth-year QB is “not wavering one bit.” Love, who signed a half-measure extension this offseason to take the place of a fifth-year option, will almost definitely have this full season to prove himself. Barring a lackluster second half, should go into the offseason as the Packers’ 2024 starter.
  • Ron Rivera was a bit less emphatic when assessing Sam Howell‘s status. The fourth-year Washington HC said (via the Washington Post’s Nicki Jhabvala) he is committed to the 2022 fifth-round pick, but he “can’t predict the future.” Howell has shown flashes; he is also on pace to break the single-season record for sacks taken. David Carr‘s rookie year, with the expansion Texans, currently resides atop that list (76). Howell’s 40 through seven games lead the NFL by 12. Howell sits 25th in QBR. With Rivera’s job far less secure than LaFleur’s, it would not surprise if Jacoby Brissett saw time at some point. Though, the Commanders passed on pursuing upgrades this offseason out of a commitment to Howell, creating the perception of a long leash.

Latest On 49ers QB Brock Purdy

With Brock Purdy well into his recovery from UCL surgery, optimism is high that the 49ers will have their preferred starting quarterback in Week 1. Further progress in his rehab schedule was recently made.

[RELATED: 49ers Planned To Sign Philip Rivers For Super Bowl]

When Purdy was initially cleared to participate in team drills, he was understandably put on a pitch count. Last year’s ‘Mr. Irrelevant’ took rest days between practices as his throwing arm returned to full strength. That restriction was lifted this past week, as head coach Kyle Shanahan indicated (via David Bonilla of 49erswebzone.com).

Purdy has long been expected to be available for the start of the season, and being an everyday participant in training camp practices is another sign that he will be in place for Week 1. The 23-year-old has also repeatedly received praise from Shanahan and the rest of the coaching staff for his level of play filling in for both Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo late in the 2022 campaign and through the postseason. Purdy’s place at the top of the team’s new quarterback depth chart has not changed.

“He’s been [the starter] since last year ended,” Shanahan confirmed, via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer“He was always clearly our starter, but there were so many questions about his injury, how he’d come back from it, that we didn’t even know if he’d be ready for this year, so we had to prepare for everything else… Trey was the guy we gave the keys to last year, so we were definitely excited to have him in a situation [to play], and we also didn’t know if Brock would be back, so we needed someone to come in and at least compete with Trey, and give us a chance, because Trey was hurt last year, and just got cleared before OTAs.”

The latter point helped explain the addition of Sam Darnold to compete for the backup role with Garoppolo no longer in the fold. In a further illustration of Lance’s underwhelming showings since being deemed the starter ahead of last September, Darnold is believed to be in the lead for the QB2 role. The remainder of the preseason will leave plenty of opportunities for the pecking order to change, but a healthy Purdy will of course alleviate many concerns at the position ahead of a campaign in which San Francisco again has substantial expectations.

Purdy is among the 49ers starters who will take part in tonight’s game against the Broncos, as noted (on Twitter) by ESPN’s Nick Wagoner. That will mark his first live action since the NFC title game, and another step toward his full-time debut as the team’s undisputed starter under center.

49ers QB Brock Purdy Cleared To Practice

After suffering an arm injury during the NFC Championship Game and subsequently undergoing offseason surgery, Brock Purdy is ready to return to the practice field. General manager John Lynch announced today that the quarterback has been cleared to practice without any restrictions (per Tyler Dragon of USA Today). However, Lynch did caution that Purdy will be on a pitch count during training camp.

“Brock is cleared and ready to go. He’s been cleared and gonna be without restrictions,” Lynch said. “Now having said that, we’re sticking and adhering to a plan that’s been put in place for some time. He got after it the last couple days. We upped his pitch count.

“He’ll take off Day 1 but we believe in that plan. He’s cleared without restrictions, but there will be some time off due to pitch count. But the great news is Brock has worked his tail off and he’s ready to go.”

Purdy suffered a complete tear of his UCL, and while he managed to avoid Tommy John surgery, he still faced a lengthy rehab. While the 49ers added some extra insurance at the position in Sam Darnold, the team has also provided optimistic updates about Purdy throughout the offseason.

Last we heard, the quarterback had resumed throwing and was still on track to start in Week 1. Considering he’s set to be a participant for the start of 49ers training camp, we can probably still count on Purdy’s availability heading into the regular season.

The Mr. Irrelevant of the 2022 draft had a rookie season for the ages. He went 5-0 as a starter, completing 67.1 percent of his passes for 13 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He continued his strong play in the postseason, helping the 49ers win a pair of playoff games while tossing three touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Considering his injury and lack of NCAA pedigree, it was uncertain if Purdy would retain his starting role heading into 2023. However, the 49ers have been adamant that the second-year QB is set to lead their depth chart, with Darnold serving as the primary backup. This means former third-overall pick Trey Lance is set to be the third-string quarterback heading into the 2023 campaign. The 23-year-old was limited to only two games last season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury, and with Purdy emerging late in the season, several teams reach out to the organization to check on Lance’s availability.

Latest On 49ers’ Quarterback Situation

A year after spending the summer trying to trade Jimmy Garoppolo and then pivoting to a compromise that allowed the longtime starter to stay, the 49ers are late in another offseason headlined by an unusual quarterback situation.

Brock Purdy has resumed throwing, and NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero notes (via Twitter) the Mr. Irrelevant-turned-starter remains on track to be ready for Week 1. Following his throwing program during the 49ers’ offseason sessions, Purdy will spend two weeks throwing in front of independent QB coach Will Hewlett and an orthopedic surgeon.

The 49ers’ party line continues to center around Purdy reprising his role as the team’s starter. The 2022 rookie revelation securing the job as expected would mark one of the more interesting conquests in modern NFL history, seeing as Purdy was chosen 262nd overall and will soon be participating in a training camp alongside two former No. 3 overall picks. Trey Lance and Sam Darnold spent OTAs and minicamp splitting the first-team reps in Purdy’s absence, but each obviously came into the NFL — Darnold in 2018, Lance in 2021 — in different realms as far as prospect pedigrees.

Going into camp, Darnold is believed to have the edge on Lance for San Francisco’s backup job, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com said during a recent Pat McAfee Show appearance (video link). The 49ers signed Darnold to a one-year, $4.5MM deal that came with $3.5MM guaranteed. The word of Darnold being ahead of Lance, who is tied to a $34.1MM fully guaranteed rookie contract, follows a report from earlier this offseason in which this was expectation.

In between the time Darnold signed and began his QB2 competition with Lance, the younger ex-No. 3 overall choice came up in trade rumors. The 49ers shot them down, and John Lynch spoke to Lance about the rumblings. It is worth wondering where the pre-draft rumors came from. While the 49ers have said they were not aiming to trade Lance, Schefter adds the QB did not produce a real trade market. It is not known what the 49ers would have considered an acceptable return for a player who has one season (2019) with extensive game work since high school, but Darnold staying ahead of Lance during camp would represent another setback for the ex-North Dakota State superstar.

The 49ers are planning to keep three quarterbacks, though only two figure to dress. Because of the Purdy and Josh Johnson injuries draining the drama from the NFC championship game, the NFL reintroduced the emergency QB rule. Teams can designate an emergency QB that is not part of an initial 48-man gameday unit. Plenty of reps remain, but as of now, Lance would project as San Francisco’s emergency passer.

Considering the 49ers tried to trade Garoppolo and give Lance the job without challenge last year, the latter being a real threat to enter a season as a third-stringer is a stunning development based on where his value stood as recently as last September. Eighth-year veteran Brandon Allen is also on San Francisco’s roster, signing shortly after the draft.

How a post-UCL surgery Purdy looks alongside Darnold and Lance once cleared will be another important component in the latest complex 49ers QB plot. For now, Purdy’s job is not believed to be under threat. That could conceivably change in camp, where Darnold might be the top competitor. Pressure will also be on Lance — who said he did not consider seeking an offseason trade — to stay afloat in a battle for the backup gig.

49ers Likely To Carry Three QBs; Brock Purdy Ramps Up Throwing Program

The 49ers closed last season with only Josh Johnson backing up Brock Purdy, moving to that two-quarterback setup after Jimmy Garoppolo‘s foot injury. That approach’s conclusion ended up leading to the NFL changing the rules regarding QB availability.

Going into this year, the 49ers will likely take a more conventional approach. They are prepared to carry three quarterbacks on their active roster, Matt Barrows of The Athletic notes (subscription required).

San Francisco’s offseason roster houses four quarterbacks — Purdy, Trey Lance, Sam Darnold, Brandon Allen — and the team just worked out recent XFL arm Jack Coan (along with four-year veteran wide receiver Jason Moore), KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweets. With a four-QB arrangement rarely used during the regular season, one of the team’s current four passers will not be on the active roster once the team sets it August 29. This does invite questions regarding Lance and Darnold coexisting, but Allen could make sense as a practice squad option.

Despite Allen spending the past three years as Joe Burrow‘s Bengals backup, he landed with the 49ers midway through the offseason. Allen would pass straight to free agency if cut in late August, opening the door for a spot on San Francisco’s 16-man P-squad. It is possible another team would view the veteran backup as a second- or third-string candidate, however. In the event the 49ers do pull the trigger on a Lance trade — a rumored scenario earlier this offseason, though John Lynch has veered in the other direction as of late — Allen makes sense as their third-stringer.

He’s obviously not just a camp arm around this league,” Shanahan said of Allen. “He’s been a backup for a while.”

Allen, 30, is going into his eighth NFL season. For now, Lance and Darnold are splitting first-team reps while Purdy recovers. But after the events of last season, the 49ers could carry three QBs on their active roster and have an insurance option on the P-squad.

Lance went down in Week 2 of last season and underwent two ankle surgeries, while Garoppolo’s Bay Area run coming to an end in early December. The latter issue led to a March surgery, which has affected the Raiders’ 2023 plans. Purdy’s UCL tear did not lead to Tommy John surgery, but it has still thrust the 49ers into another offseason headlined by post-surgery rehab. Garoppolo came back from shoulder surgery last year, moving off the trade block and into the role of Lance’s backup. Johnson, signed off the Broncos’ practice squad after Garoppolo’s injury, suffered a concussion that brought a severely compromised Purdy back into the NFC championship game. Last month, the NFL approved the return of the emergency QB rule, which allows for teams to designate a non-active-roster passer as its game-day emergency option — only in the event its top two QBs go down.

This scenario opens the door to the strange proposition of Lance or Darnold not dressing but being an emergency option. Purdy continues to look like he will not need a stay on the reserve/PUP list to start the season. Although the second-year passer’s rehab timetable may still threaten his regular-season availability, the 49ers will likely play it week to week and keep Purdy on their 53-man roster in that case. Not long after beginning to throw post-surgery, Purdy has ramped up his throwing program to three times per week, Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News notes.

Considered ahead of schedule in his recovery from an internal brace procedure, Purdy remains in the driver’s seat to start for the 49ers. Training camp will provide a better indication of Darnold or Lance’s capabilities at unseating last year’s Mr. Irrelevant, but for the time being, Purdy’s grip on the job remains firm.

Brock Purdy Resumes Throwing, Remains Frontrunner To Start

Brock Purdy did end up beating early post-surgery projections. The second-year quarterback’s previously reported plan to throw this week is a go, and John Lynch said no setbacks emerged after the session.

The 49ers will still be, understandably, proceeding cautiously with last year’s third-stringer-turned-starter. But Lynch said during a Sirius XM Radio appearance the team is “incredibly encouraged” by Purdy’s early recovery stages.

[RELATED: Trey Lance Not Considering Trade Request]

Last year’s Mr. Irrelevant underwent UCL surgery March 10, following a slight delay due to swelling, and his recovery timetable could run up against the 49ers’ regular-season opener. Should Purdy continue to progress and make it back in time, Lynch said he remains the “leader in the clubhouse” to start. Lynch, as expected, praised Trey Lance — who has taken the bulk of the 49ers’ first-team reps during OTAs thus far — and labeled the Purdy-Lance-Sam Darnold setup an open competition.

Is it a flash in the pan or is it the real deal?” Lynch said, regarding Purdy (h/t The Athletic’s David Lombardi). “As we’ve gone back and studied it, he played at a high, high level. Not only played within the system, he made a lot of plays outside the system by extending plays. He showed tremendous playmaking ability. He showed tremendous ability to run the system efficiently, effectively, push the ball downfield — he just had an incredible first year.”

In not chasing an upgrade and letting Jimmy Garoppolo walk in free agency, the 49ers effectively showed that confidence in Purdy building on his stunning rookie-year form. The team did add Darnold but did so after Lance underwent a second ankle surgery. Darnold has also taken first-team reps during OTAs, per the San Jose Mercury News’ Cam Inman, and represents a wild card of sorts given the advantages the Kyle Shanahan-orchestrated offense has on the Jets and Panthers’ attacks Darnold helmed during his first five seasons.

It will certainly be interesting to see if Darnold’s talent level begins to show during Purdy’s recovery, as he and Lance are currently slated to back up a former No. 262 overall pick. Purdy’s form once he receives full clearance will obviously bring attention, given the healthy options the 49ers now have at quarterback. For now, however, the 2018 and ’21 No. 3 draftees are in line for reserve roles — though, it will be difficult to envision either being a third-stringer in the event the 49ers keep all three come September.

Latest On Trey Lance, 49ers QB Depth

After getting only four starts through his first two years in the NFL, 49ers quarterback Trey Lance is now eyeing a backup role heading into his third NFL season. Thanks to his presumed spot on the depth chart, a number of teams have checked on the availability of the former third-overall pick. However, despite the outside interest, Lance never thought of requesting a trade out of San Francisco.

“No, not at all,” Lance told reporters yesterday (via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle). “I knew where I wanted to be. I just want an opportunity to compete. I love it here. I love the coaching staff. … Love the quarterback room, love the guys in the locker room. This is absolutely where I want to be.”

Injuries have limited Lance’s progress through his first two NFL seasons. He spent most of his rookie season as the backup to Jimmy Garoppolo, and after heading into the 2022 campaign as the clear starter, he suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2. Since then, 2022 Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy took the job and ran with it, guiding the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game.

The team made it clear that they’ll have Purdy atop the QB depth chart when they start the regular season, and the organization also brought in some veteran depth in Sam Darnold. Despite the fact that he might not even be the 49ers’ second option at the position, Lance admitted that he’s actually enjoying playing football for the first time in a while.

“I really feel like I’m having fun playing football again,” Lance said. “It’s hard those first years, my first year and especially last year, I thought I’d be able to get close to that point of not having to be so stressed and worried and have a better understanding of offense and defense. And I finally feel like I’m able to just have fun and enjoy it again.

“Obviously, there are ups and downs. And there is stress and anxiety that comes with playing the position and playing football. But this is the best I’ve felt, for sure.”

Even with the added depth at the position, Lance isn’t doomed in San Francisco. Purdy is still recovering from UCL surgery, although Kyle Shanahan told reporters that the QB should be throwing by next week (per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Twitter). It sounds like Purdy is a bit ahead of schedule, which is good news when it comes to his Week 1 availability. However, even a small setback could delay Purdy’s regular season debut, opening the door for a starting gig.

Per Rapoport, Lance has been taking the technical “first-team reps” at quarterback this week. However, Shanahan was quick to caution that this doesn’t mean a whole lot; Lance was playing with no offensive line and throwing to second- and third-string receivers. Ultimately, Rapoport believes there will be a real battle between Lance and Darnold for that QB2 (and potential QB1) role.