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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

John Lynch says 49ers ‘covet’ future restricted free agent Nick Mullens

Oct 2, 2020 at 8:58 AM--

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens is scheduled to become a restricted free agent after this season. He'll probably garner some interest from around the league, but general manager John Lynch says the 49ers sure would like to keep him on the roster.

"I wish we were back in the days when you had an opportunity to keep a Joe Montana and a Steve Young on the same team," Lynch said Friday morning on KNBR's Murph & Mac show. "With the salary cap, those things are tougher. But Nick, he keeps playing like that, he'll make things really tough on a lot of people, and he'll be coveted. I know we certainly covet him."

Mullens looks set to make his 10th career start when the 49ers host the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night. He performed well this past weekend on the road against the New York Giants while filling in for injured quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle). Mullens was 25-of-36 for 343 yards with a touchdown and a 108.9 passer rating.

"You forget, at this level, backup quarterbacks don't get a ton of reps," Lynch continued, "and so they have to have that ability, by osmosis, to take in the game plan, and Nick really does such a great job of that. We saw it come to fruition last week, and (he) played with great confidence. I just love the way, as Kyle (Shanahan) says, (he has of) getting back and not being afraid to let it rip.

"Nick did that consistently, throwing on time, getting the ball downfield. He plays at a high level. His brain functions really quick. He can process information in a hurry. He doesn't have the arm talent Jimmy has, but he's got enough. We've seen guys in this league, when you process quickly, that can overcome that.

"So, he's doing a great job really making a name for himself, and if you saw the way this kid works day in and day out, it's really an inspiration to his teammates. That's why there's so much love for him."

The 49ers are a touchdown favorite over the visiting Eagles. San Francisco hasn't ruled out the possibility that Garoppolo might play, but the quarterback has not practiced yet this week, and there is just one more session this afternoon.

All signs seem to point to Mullens being out there running the offense when the 49ers take the field on Sunday night.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Lynch below.

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