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John Lynch, 49ers may examine offseason QB market; GM asked about Tom Brady

Feb 28, 2023 at 12:31 PM--

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There is no doubt that the San Francisco 49ers will look to acquire a veteran quarterback this offseason, adding some depth behind third-year passer Trey Lance and second-year player Brock Purdy. After all, both will be attempting to return from serious injuries. Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury on September 18. Purdy sustained an ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) tear in his right elbow on January 29.

It seems logical that the 49ers would want to add some experience to their quarterback room with Jimmy Garoppolo headed out the door. Or maybe they will add another rookie to their already young group of signal-callers. San Francisco tried to insulate itself last offseason by drafting Purdy with the last overall pick. That worked out well.

"Well, you know, ironically, we made that decision last year, and I felt really good going into training camp that we were kind of insulated in the event that anything happened," Lynch explained on Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine. "Unfortunately, it wasn't quite enough. It got us right at the end. And so I think we're all products of our experiences."

The 49ers ended the season in the NFC Championship Game but played through much of the matchup without a quarterback that could throw the football. Purdy left the game in the first quarter. Later, his backup, Josh Johnson, exited due to a concussion. Purdy was forced to return to the game but could not throw the football because of the injury, leaving the 49ers offense to run a one-dimensional attack against the Philadelphia Eagles.

This week, it was reported that the NFL Competition Committee was expected to discuss the return of the emergency quarterback rule, allowing teams to dress a 47th player, a third quarterback, in case such a situation reoccurs.

"[I] was in some meetings today where the league's discussing potential solutions for third quarterbacks such that we never have that kind of [situation again]," Lynch said. "But the reality is it's very few and far between where those instances happen, so we'll see.

"And yeah, we may have to look into the quarterback market, in addition to Brock and Trey, to insulate ourselves from whatever may happen."

Lynch was also asked about recently retired (re-retired?) Tom Brady. Despite the future Hall of Fame quarterback calling it quits, based on last offseason's events, there has been speculation that Brady could be tempted to return if the right situation presented itself.

Soon, Brady could sign with an NFL team if he wishes. His contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers expires on March 15.

"I sent him a text when he retired," Lynch admitted when asked about Brady. "He was a teammate for about three weeks at one point. So I sent him a text, just congratulations on one of the greatest careers that I've ever seen in any sport. And I wished him the best, so we'll leave it at that."

San Francisco had an opportunity to sign Brady in 2020 but opted to stick with Garoppolo, who had just led the team to a Super Bowl appearance.

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