Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Why the 49ers gave Nate Sudfeld a fully-guaranteed $2 million deal

Mar 10, 2022 at 5:56 PM--

Quarterback Nate Sudfeld's return was among several transactions the San Francisco 49ers reported on Thursday. Sudfeld spent most of last season on the practice squad, and the Niners wanted to make sure he returned to the team in 2022.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, they had competition.

The NFL insider reports that San Francisco gave Sudfeld a one-year deal that includes $2 million fully guaranteed and could max out at $3 million. Why pay that much for a backup quarterback who did not appear in a game in 2021?

"There were two other teams interested in Sudfeld with, in the words of one source, 'all believing he has starter potential in the league,'" Schefter tweeted.

Most expect the 49ers to part ways with the team's starter of the past four-and-a-half seasons, Jimmy Garoppolo. That would have left the team with just last year's No. 3 overall pick, Trey Lance, as its only quarterback under contract. Lance is expected to be the starter in 2022.

While the Niners are expected to add a veteran quarterback to back up Lance, Sudfeld knows the system and is well-liked by the coaching staff and his teammates. So it makes sense that they would want him to return, and they paid to make sure that happened.

San Francisco entered Thursday more than $4.5 million over the salary cap, per OverTheCap. NFL teams will need to be at or below that salary cap figure before Wednesday, March 16.

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