Sam Darnold landed in a solid situation when he agreed to a one-year deal with San Francisco 10 days ago.
At this point, the 49ers starting quarterback in 2023 is expected to be either Trey Lance or Brock Purdy — though Lance may have a leg up due to Purdy’s elbow injury suffered in the NFC Championship Game. But given the injury history of San Francisco QBs in head coach Kyle Shanahan and General Manager John Lynch’s tenure, there’s reason to think Darnold could eventually see the field in the upcoming season.
Lynch said this week that the Niners are excited about what the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 draft can bring to the Bay Area.
“I feel we’ve studied him forever, back when he was [a potential] No. 1 pick and we were looking for trade options,” Lynch said, via Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group. “He kind of was craving what we could provide: a really cool structure on offense that’s tailor-made for his skill set. That’s what he bought into.
“We’re excited about Sam.”
After three seasons with the Jets, Darnold was traded from New York to Carolina and spent the last two years with the Panthers. He helped lead the club to a 4-2 record in his six starts last season, completing 58.6 percent of his passes for 1,143 yards with seven touchdowns and three interceptions. His 92.6 passer rating was easily the highest of his career.
In 56 career games with 55 starts, Darnold has completed 59.7 percent of his passes for 11,767 yards with 61 touchdowns and 55 interceptions — good for a 78.2 passer rating.