The San Francisco 49ers have added another quarterback to their expected open competition for the 2023 season.
Sam Darnold, the New York Jets’ third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, will move to San Fran on a one-year deal, according to ESPN.
Along with Darnold Brock Purdy, “Mr. Relevant” in last year’s NFL Draft, who surprised everyone with his success in a starting role last season, and Trey Lance, the third overall pick in 2021, who hopes to regain the starting job. season-ending injury.
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Sam Darnold #14 of the Carolina Panthers throws before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
This move by the 49ers comes after former starter Jimmy Garoppolo agreed to become the new starting quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders following the release of Derek Carr. Garoppolo’s deal is expected to be worth $67.5 million over the next three seasons.
It’s been five seasons since Darnold entered the NFL as the Jets’ promising quarterback of the future. But after three tumultuous seasons in New York, where injuries and inconsistent play marred the development of the franchise guy, the Jets went ahead and traded him to the Carolina Panthers before the 2021 season.
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Darnold’s tenure with the Panthers was a constant battle for the starting role, which he won in 2021. But he eventually lost the role after going 4-7 on the year.
The Panthers had a lot of issues other than quarterback last season, but Darnold once again got his shot. While going 4-2, the Panthers also tested PJ Walker and started Baker Mayfield earlier in the season.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) runs down the field during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Darnold threw for 1,143 yards with seven touchdowns and three interceptions on a 58.6 completion rate in six starts.
Despite having more experience than Purdy and Lance combined, Darnold isn’t at the top of the depth chart.
Purdy, who underwent elbow surgery to clean up an injury suffered in the NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles, should emerge as the quarterback to win because of his tremendous efforts in such a short amount of time.
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He went 5-0 in the regular season as a starter, throwing for 1,374 yards with 13 touchdowns and four interceptions. He was also able to win two playoff games against the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys before falling to the Eagles.
Then there’s Lance, who still has the talent John Lynch and the rest of the organization believe he has after being named starting training camp before the 2022 season. However, that quickly changed for Garoppolo when he broke his ankle in Week 2.
Quarterback Sam Darnold #14 of the Carolina Panthers warms up against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Well, the addition of Darnold not only adds competitiveness, but adds certainty to the quarterback position after the 49ers used four different tight ends last year due to the injury bug.
Scott Thompson is a sports writer for Fox News Digital.