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49ers insider breaks down offseason QB addition options

Feb 23, 2023 at 9:38 AM--

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While Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk ponders whether the San Francisco 49ers might entice Tom Brady to unretire for the second consecutive year, Matt Barrows of The Athletic looks at more realistic options for offseason quarterback additions.

Veterans Jimmy Garoppolo and Josh Johnson are slated to become free agents next month. Head coach Kyle Shanahan already admitted that he couldn't envision a scenario where Garoppolo returns in 2023.

Brock Purdy, the rookie sensation from this past season, will miss about six months once he undergoes surgery next month to repair the tear of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow. He sustained the injury in the NFC Championship Game. The surgery was initially scheduled for Wednesday but was postponed due to inflammation remaining in the quarterback's elbow.

That leaves Trey Lance as the 49ers' healthiest quarterback under contract, and he is returning from a season-ending ankle injury. Needless to say, the team would probably like to add some help this offseason to ensure they don't wear out the arm of their third-year quarterback. They'd undoubtedly want to add a veteran passer and maybe even a rookie.

"A new veteran quarterback might look more like Andy Dalton," Barrows wrote, "someone with plenty of experience — Dalton has started 166 games in his career — but who won't stress the 49ers' salary cap and who would take a backseat to San Francisco's youngsters. The 49ers looked at Dalton during the 2021 free-agency period."

Barrows suggested that other veteran quarterbacks, such as Jacoby Brissett, Teddy Bridgewater, and Taylor Heinicke, could be options for Shanahan's offense.

The writer for The Athletic believes the 49ers could search for another Purdy-like quarterback in the draft. That might mean TCU's Max Duggan, Coastal Carolina's Grayson McCall, Georgia's Stetson Bennett, or another name that has recently gained traction, Jake Haener.

"Fresno State's Jake Haener has drawn plenty of comparisons, with one longtime evaluator saying he's 'the same guy' as Purdy," wrote Barrows.

Click here to read The Athletic's full analysis of the 49ers' quarterback position.


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