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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Fowler: Mason Rudolph makes “some sense” for 49ers; Samson Ebukam “getting some buzz”

Mar 5, 2023 at 1:35 PM--

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The Tom Brady-to-San Francisco 49ers speculation won't end anytime soon, despite the future Hall of Fame quarterback retiring—for the second time in two years. Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated recently said to "keep an eye on" soon-to-be free agent Baker Mayfield potentially landing with the Niners.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler added another veteran quarterback name into the mix for head coach Kyle Shanahan—Mason Rudolph (h/t Angelina Martin of NBC Sports Bay Area).

"The Bucs and 49ers came up most often when I asked around about quarterback Baker Mayfield's market," Fowler wrote in a feature breaking down the rumors coming out of Indianapolis during the NFL Scouting Combine. "Tampa Bay is looking at bringing in a veteran arm. Drew Lock, who was the backup in Seattle last year, is also an option there. And the 49ers need veteran help due to injuries to Trey Lance and Brock Purdy. Mason Rudolph would also make some sense there."

San Francisco will likely look to insulate itself for the 2023 season after all four quarterbacks—Lance, Jimmy Garoppolo, Purdy, and Josh Johnson—suffered injuries during the 2022 season. The latter two sustained their injuries in the NFC Championship Game, leaving the talented 49ers roster without a quarterback capable of throwing the football.

The Pittsburgh Steelers made Rudolph (6-5, 235) a third-round selection (No. 76 overall) out of Oklahoma State in 2018. The quarterback last played in 2021, when he completed 35-of-58 attempts (60.3 percent) for 277 yards with a touchdown and an interception through two game appearances (one start) with the Steelers, per Pro Football Reference.

Rudolph, 27, has completed 61.5 percent of his passes for 2,366 yards with 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 17 game appearances (10 starts) through his three NFL seasons (2019-21). In addition to not playing this past season, Rudolph did not take a snap during his rookie 2018 campaign.

Samson Ebukam could get big payday

The 49ers may be on the verge of losing defensive end Samson Ebukam. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 15.

"Despite not being a household name, free agent pass-rusher Samson Ebukam is getting some buzz here in early March," wrote Fowler. "He could earn somewhere in the double-digit millions per year. Ebukam had five sacks with the San Francisco 49ers, playing well in an expanded role."


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