Sam Darnold: Winning’s the only thing that matters to me

Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints
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Sam Darnold agreed to sign a one-year deal with the 49ers this week and he joins a quarterback depth chart that also includes Trey Lance and Brock Purdy.

Lance opened last season as the starter, but a broken ankle knocked him out of the lineup. Purdy took over after Jimmy Garoppolo went down with an injury and piloted the team to the NFC Championship Game before hurting his elbow in the loss to the Eagles. He’s expected to need six months to recover and that creates some uncertainty about who will be at quarterback when the season starts.

On Thursday, Darnold said that his focus is on “doing whatever I can to help this team win games” in whatever role 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has for him in 2023.

“I think those are things that, with a good quarterback room, as long as we stick together, and we understand that we just got to work hard and continue to put the best foot forward for each other, that everything’s going to work out,” Darnold said, via “And I think at the end of the day, as long as we’re winning games, that’s the only thing that matters to me. As I continue to get to know Trey and Brock, and talking to people around the building about those guys, it seems to me that all they care about is winning as well. And obviously, as a competitor, you want to play, but at the end of the day, you got to do what’s right for the team. You leave those decisions up to Kyle. And we know that he’s going to put the best guy out there and do the right thing. We just need to go out there and win.”

The health of the other two quarterbacks will have a lot to do with any role Darnold plays in 2023, but his first order of business will be learning the offense well enough to take advantage of any opportunity that comes his way.

10 responses to “Sam Darnold: Winning’s the only thing that matters to me

  1. No one is buying this. Getting paid is what really matters. Just use the code word … respect.

  2. Darnold has some catching up to do, but it wouldn’t shock me if he becomes the 49ers’ starting QB for years to come. And a winning QB, too.

  3. Hopefully Kyle Shannahan can work with him and improve him.
    Unlike Baker he seems like a good guy.

  4. LOL. There’s still some people who apparently believe Darnold is a “winning QB” despite 5 years of evidence to the contrary. I will never understand this. I’m sure Josh Rosen is going to suddenly become a franchise QB too.

  5. Before continuing to trash him understand he was doing reasonable at Carolina. I’m general he hasn’t had much of a team to work with.

  6. 21-35, 59.7 comp. %, 6.7 yd avg., 61-55 td to int. He seems like a good guy and has likely been the victim of being on some very QB unfriendly teams as he once had a lot of promise having to carry USC. I would love to see him have some personal success and leave the ghosts that he was seeing behind him.

  7. Sam’s going to say the right things and be a good teammate. If he CAN do it as QB1 this is probably the place where he will discover that. He did pretty well in 5 of the 6 games he played for the Panthers in 2022. The Saints game was ghastly though.

    He’s only 25 and has played in some terrible situations. Good coaching may be just what he needs. In any case, even as a back-up it’s a good deal for both him and the 49ers.

  8. He was lights out the final six games in Carolina. Look at his stats, pretty impressive on a bad team.

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