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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Jed York reflects on Kyle Shanahan admitting Brock Purdy was the 49ers’ best QB

Feb 1, 2024 at 1:23 PM--

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The San Francisco 49ers made a substantial investment in what they believed would be their future franchise quarterback, Trey Lance, surrendering significant draft capital, including multiple first-round picks.

In the end, their quarterback of the future is likely a player they selected with the last overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Brock Purdy entered his rookie season behind Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo on the depth chart. Yet, he seized the opportunity when both quarterbacks suffered injuries.

49ers CEO Jed York spoke to reporters on Thursday and shared the story of head coach Kyle Shanahan informing him that it might be Purdy, not Lance or Garoppolo, who is the team's quarterback of the future. This discussion took place after a training camp practice session.

"He's like, 'Hey, man, we got to talk,'" York shared. "And that's generally not a good thing when your coach says you've got to talk. I'm like, 'All right, what's up?'"

Shanahan then delivered the unexpected news to York, who has supported every effort to identify a franchise quarterback, whether that meant a financial investment in Garoppolo or the potential risks in trading up for Lance.

"And he's like, 'I think our third-string quarterback is our best quarterback,'" York continued. "I'm like, 'Okay, what does that mean?' He's like, 'Well, obviously, we've invested in Trey. Trey is doing a good job. We're going to do everything that we can. We're not going to change that, and we're not going to change the depth chart, but I think Brock will end up being our quarterback at some point.'"

York appreciated Shanahan's honesty and commitment to giving Lance every possible chance.

"And he didn't force it," York said. "You had two injuries, and that's how Brock ended up playing. But he's always honest. One thing that owners don't love to hear when they've invested money and/or draft picks, or both, into people is that the last pick in the draft is the guy that we think is the best. That's generally not great news, but he's honest, and he let it play out the right way."

Purdy made his first game appearance against the Carolina Panthers, but his first pass came two weeks later in a blowout loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the team he will coincidentally face in Super Bowl 58. York recalled watching the quarterback complete four of his nine pass attempts and tossing an interception in that 2022 matchup.

"I may or may not have had some sarcastic comments for Kyle post-game," York admitted. "But when Brock took over last year, I think we had a calm about us. There was a sense that nothing catches you by surprise. And again, you might not love everything that Kyle tells you, but he's always open and honest, especially in the moment, and he's very clear about that with me."

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