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John Lynch: 49ers QB Trey Lance having a ‘really, really quality offseason’

Jun 1, 2023 at 11:38 AM

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During an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio, San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch once again called Brock Purdy the "leader in the clubhouse" when it comes to the team's starting quarterback job. Purdy earned that with his superb play last season as a rookie, helping guide the 49ers to eight consecutive wins before an NFC Championship Game loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Purdy suffered a UCL tear in that game and will miss most or all of this offseason. That opens the door for Trey Lance or Sam Darnold to impress coaches and potentially climb the depth chart. Lance opened last season as the 49ers' starter but suffered a season-ending ankle injury during Week 2.

The 49ers haven't lost faith in their former No. 3 overall draft pick. They still see a lot of potential in Lance. However, the 23-year-old quarterback still lacks experience, having started only four games in two NFL seasons and thrown only 102 pass attempts.

"We're extremely high on Trey," Lynch said. "The great thing for Trey and for Sam Darnold, that we brought in, is with Brock off to the sideline—Brock had his first session throwing the other day, and everything's tracking great—but those guys have got the work in the offseason, and they're both relishing that opportunity.

"Really proud of Trey. Trey came back off a broken and dislocated ankle, and he's out there, has had a really, really quality offseason. So we still remain very high on Trey. We wanted to bring in some more competition. We brought in Sam, and Sam's really taken to the coaching and the structure that we can give him."

All things being equal, Purdy would likely be the undisputed QB1. However, his injury creates a more uncertain situation. The 49ers don't want to rush their second-year quarterback back and have repeatedly stated that they will do whatever is best for Purdy. If that means allowing him to rest at the start of the season, Lynch and the Niners are confident they can win football games with Lance or Darnold under center.

Although, the 49ers remain hopeful that Purdy will be good to go for Week 1.

"So at the end of the day, we feel really good about that position," Lynch continued. "I think Brock probably is the leader in the clubhouse, as we said, but it will be open for competition, and it's those guys' opportunity to go earn that job."

Competition breeds success. Lynch and the 49ers believe that wholeheartedly. However, they also believe in Purdy and feel his performances last season were no fluke.

"And you look back [and ask], 'Is it a flash in the pan, or is it the real deal?'" Lynch said. "As we've gone back and studied it, he played at a high, high level. And not only played within a system, made a lot of plays outside the system by extending plays and showed tremendous playmaking ability, showed a tremendous ability to run the system efficiently, effectively push the ball downfield. So he just had an incredible first year."

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