placeholder image

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

What to make of the 49ers signing QB Sam Darnold

Rohan Chakravarthi
Mar 13, 2023 at 3:30 PM

Videos are auto-populated by an affiliate. This site has no control over the videos that appear above.
After a major splash in defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, the San Francisco 49ers have reached an agreement with Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold on a one-year deal.

Darnold, 25, is coming off a tumultuous season with the Carolina Panthers where he finished strong as the starting quarterback, and was expected to receive interest on the open market in a backup role.

However, he lands with the 49ers on a one-year deal, which currently places him as the backup quarterback behind Trey Lance, but likely ends as the third-string option when Brock Purdy returns from his UCL injury near the beginning of the regular season.

Darnold's fit

From the 49ers perspective, Sam Darnold is a solid signing as a player with starting experience, youth, and understanding of his role.

Darnold makes even more sense as a backup because the 49ers' current starter, Trey Lance, has minimal experience as a top signal-caller, and the former Panthers quarterback can provide adequate competition to push Lance and help San Francisco identify where their third-year quarterback currently is.

Additionally, pairing Darnold with Kyle Shanahan allows for a valuable learning opportunity under an offensive mastermind, which could be appealing in future backup roles, should his time in San Francisco be a one-year stint.

Of course, Darnold's availability and talent as a third-string quarterback is an upgrade over Josh Johnson, providing San Francisco the depth they were searching for at the position.

Darnold's market

The 49ers signing Darnold was a good, cost-controlled move for their roster in 2023, but it was a surprise to hear that the former third-overall puck selected the Bay Area as his next destination.

After the end to his season in 2022, it appeared that Darnold could fetch a solid role as a young second-string quarterback with a higher salary than he's likely to earn with the 49ers, but instead, the former Panther chose San Francisco as his home for 2023 to reset.

The experience should be of value for Darnold, as he can learn under San Francisco's system, but it was a surprising move in my eyes.

Regardless, the 49ers have found a young, cost-controlled backup quarterback that should provide as insurance for each of their rookie contract options, while serving as good competition for Trey Lance in the offseason as the North Dakota State product is given the opportunity to earn the starting job.
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

  • Grant Bong
    Well written Rohan..there is a reason for everything...Why do I have to see Grant Chon every time I'd like to read your post?..then when I scroll down I get to see the little pricks face again. Can we stop that please? Thank you
    Mar 13, 2023 at 5:09 PM


More San Francisco 49ers News

placeholder image

Johnny Holland confident 49ers' Dre Greenlaw will make a strong comeback

By David Bonilla
May 22

Dre Greenlaw suffered a devastating injury during February's Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, tearing his Achilles and missing half the game. The San Francisco 49ers linebacker has been on the challenging road to recovery since then. Greenlaw's progress appears promising. He attended the Dwight Clark Legacy Series event last week without a protective boot and seemed to be moving well as he walked on stage to accept the prestigious Dwight Clark Award. "It's a long, long, slow process," Greenlaw told the audience at the California Theatre in San Jose. "I'm feeling really, really good, though. I'm happy to be able to walk on the stage, actually." While

placeholder image

49ers expected to play 2 games on Monday Night Football during 2024 season

By David Bonilla
May 14

It's already confirmed that the San Francisco 49ers will kick off their 2024 regular season at home against the New York Jets on "Monday Night Football." However, that Week 1 matchup won't be the only time head coach Kyle Shanahan's team takes the spotlight on Monday night. Joe Buck disclosed on "Good Morning America" that ESPN and ABC have scheduled a second matchup featuring the Niners. When discussing additional matchups beyond the debut game, Buck mentioned, "We know that we also have the Cowboys twice, and we've got the Chiefs twice. We've got the Bills twice. We've got another date with the

placeholder image

49ers announce roster moves ahead of schedule release

By Site Staff
May 14

The San Francisco 49ers officially announced the signings of defensive lineman Shakel Brown and offensive lineman Chris Hubbard to one-year deals. Both signings had been previously reported. To make room on the roster, the team waived defensive lineman Earnest Brown IV and offensive lineman Corey Luciano. The 49ers Communications staff provided the following rundown. Brown (6-3, 295) originally entered the NFL after signing with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent on May 12, 2023. After spending the 2023 season on the Injured Reserve List, he was waived by the Titans on May 7, 2024. A 25-year-old native of Miami, FL, Brown

placeholder image

Super Bowl rematch between 49ers and Chiefs will be during Week 7

By David Bonilla
May 14

Jordan Schultz reports that the highly anticipated rematch between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs, a reprisal of February's Super Bowl, is slated for Week 7 of the upcoming season. The clash will occur at Levi's Stadium, with the kickoff set for 1:25 p.m. PT and FOX broadcasting the game. Former NFL quarterback Tom Brady is expected to call the game from the broadcast booth. Sources: The Super Bowl rematch between the #Chiefs and


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone