NEW 49ers NFL Draft Hats Available Now! →
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

What to make of the 49ers quarterback situation

Rohan Chakravarthi
Jan 31, 2023 at 12:30 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers are in offseason mode, as they were eliminated by the Philadelphia Eagles to the score of 31-7 in the NFC Championship round, effectively ending their season.

In the loss, the 49ers faced unimaginable circumstances, as starting quarterback Brock Purdy suffered a torn UCL on the first offensive drive of the game, while backup Josh Johnson departed with a concussion and did not return, forcing the former to re-enter, despite the injury.

With the injuries to both quarterbacks, the 49ers ended the season with all four of their active quarterbacks injured, which has unfortunately been a theme for the team over the past few seasons.

As uncertainty looms over the current starter in 2023, let's evaluate all the options and come to an early conclusion on the quarterback situation going into 2023.

Jimmy Garoppolo

Veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has experienced a whirlwind career with the San Francisco 49ers, signing an extension with the team in 2018 after playing just five games, before encountering a number of injuries, but also a Super Bowl and two NFC Championship appearances.

However, it's more than likely that Garoppolo's tenure with the team is over, as the quarterback is headed to unrestricted free agency, and has a full say in his next destination, as his contract provides a clause that the 49ers cannot franchise tag him.

After enjoying a solid season as the starter for several games following the injury to Trey Lance, Garoppolo should have suitors in a quarterback-needy market, where he could acquire a multiyear contract to lead another franchise.

But, one season after the 49ers tried to effortlessly move on from Garoppolo via trade, it appears that a reunion between the two sides is unlikely, specifically due to monetary reasons.

Still, if there is one thing we have learned with the 49ers, it's that any scenario is possible, especially when gauging the injuries at the quarterback position.

The young quarterbacks

The 49ers were in a prime position to carry one of the cheapest quarterback rooms in the NFL with Trey Lance and Brock Purdy heading into 2022.

However, Purdy's torn UCL injury will sideline him for at least six months, with the exact timeline unknown at the moment on when he'll return, effectively ensuring that the rookie quarterback will return only during training camp at the earliest, which means that the 49ers will have just one healthy quarterback under roster when the offseason begins.

Trey Lance, San Francisco's starter in 2022, is still recovering from the two surgeries he encountered this year as a part of his recovery from a broken ankle that he sustained in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks.

But, according to The Athletic's Matt Barrows, Lance is expected to be fully cleared for the beginning of organized team activities(OTAs), where he currently begins the offseason as the top quarterback on San Francisco's depth chart, in part because he's the only healthy option.

Purdy could be available to start come Week 1 if the six-month timeline is accurate, but it's unclear whether that will be accurate or if he'll be given that opportunity, as Lance will be undergoing the entirety of the offseason program as the top signal-caller with the No. 1 offense, while the rookie recovers from his injury.

Outside options

The 49ers will undoubtedly need another quarterback in the mix for the beginning of the season, as Lance is slated to be the only healthy option on the roster at the time for San Francisco.

The 49ers could go two routes: signing or trading for a potential starter, such as Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers, or adding a backup, allowing them to push Lance as he progresses.

The first option is certainly intriguing, given the 49ers' shortcomings in recent years, and that Brady would be the best quarterback that head coach Kyle Shanahan has worked with during his time in the Bay Area.

However, Brady is likely to command a hefty salary, and the 49ers have just $16 million in remaining cap space while having to deal with several key free agents, as well as an extension for defensive end Nick Bosa, making it tough financially for San Francisco to pull off a move of such caliber.

The same goes for Rodgers, who will also require draft capital to be sent out to Green Bay, making it an even tougher sell, given San Francisco's current cap situation.

A better solution? Signing a capable backup, such as Cleveland's Jacoby Brissett, Los Angeles's Baker Mayfield, Miami's Teddy Bridgewater, or New Orleans's Andy Dalton, who would provide a healthy body and experience at the position with such a young group, allowing the 49ers to carry them, Lance, and Purdy when the season begins for the 49ers as the three quarterbacks on the roster.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.

1 Comment

  • BigAl
    So now were promoting Grant Cohn on this website? What a clown show thats it for me
    Jan 31, 2023 at 5:12 PM
    Response: Confusing comment considering Grant was not mentioned once in this article.


Facebook Comments

More San Francisco 49ers News

Jason Kelce: 49ers adding Javon Hargrave "not going to make it any easier" for Eagles

By David Bonilla
Mar 19

Adding Javon Hargrave was a huge (and shocking) addition by the San Francisco 49ers. While it seems like a perfect fit and addresses a significant team need, no one saw it coming. The Niners didn't have considerable salary cap space, so signing Hargrave to a four-year, $84 million deal was unexpected. The former Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle, nicknamed "Grave Digger," joins a defensive line that includes NFL Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead, bolstering the middle of that unit. One of the defender's former teammates is happy for Hargrave and his financial good fortune. However, he also knows the loss could be problematic for the defending NFC champions in the upcoming season. "I'm happy for my man, Grave Digger," Eagles

Podcast: 49ers with Grant Cohn: Are the 49ers the favorites in the NFC with Trey Lance?

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Mar 24

Rohan Chakravarthi and Grant Cohn discuss whether the 49ers are favorites in the NFC after free agency. The audio for the show is embedded above, while the video is available below. ?feature=share You can listen to "The Rohan Chakravarthi Show" from our

49ers considered trading Mike McGlinchey last year

By David Bonilla
Mar 25

Mike McGlinchey received a life-changing payday, signing a five-year, $87.5 million deal with the Denver Broncos. The offensive tackle has known for a while that he would not return to the San Francisco 49ers, the only NFL team he has played for and the one that made him the No. 9 overall pick in 2018. General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan made it clear to McGlinchey that he was likely playing his final months for the team. There was too much money invested in other spots, and the 49ers knew they couldn't compete with other interested teams. Behind the scenes, Lynch and Shanahan kept McGlinchey in the loop of what the team was thinking, and everything pointed to the tackle playing elsewhere in 2023 … maybe even

Photo: Recovering 49ers QB Brock Purdy spotted by fan

By David Bonilla
Mar 26

Brock Purdy can begin throwing again sometime in June. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback is expected to be ready to hit the field—practice or in-game—sometime in September. Purdy is recovering from surgery to repair the tear of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow, an injury sustained in the NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He hasn't been seen since the surgery, with his last public appearance taking place In Arizona, during the week leading to the Super Bowl. One fan spotted Purdy, though, getting a photo with the 49ers quarterback (h/t TheSFNiners). As expected, Purdy is wearing a massive brace on his throwing arm,


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone