Report: Sam Darnold to backup Brock Purdy

The competition between Sam Darnold and Trey Lance to serve as Brock Purdy’s backup quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers appears to be over.

According to Ian Rapoport and Tom Peliserro of NFL Network, Sam Darnold has won the job.

There are a variety of reasons why it hasn’t worked out for Lance in San Francisco, starting with injuries.

During his rookie training camp, Lance was pushing Jimmy Garoppolo throughout; however, a finger injury suffered in the final preseason game lingered throughout his first year. As a result, Lance was forced to learn a new grip and his accuracy suffered.

Beyond the finger, Lance suffered a knee injury in his first start against Arizona a few weeks later.

Handed the starting job for 2022, Lance lasted just five quarters before being lost for the season with an ankle injury. Lance lost valuable playing time as a result, then Brock Purdy came in to replace Jimmy Garoppolo in week 13 and took the job.

What’s next for Lance is anybody’s guess. The 49ers invested three first round picks to take the quarterback third overall in the 2021 NFL draft. Diana Russini of The Athletic has reported the 49ers have been shopping Lance for much of the offseason but never received any significant offers.

According to Mike Silver, the 49ers were offered a fifth-round pick for Lance prior to the draft, and they turned it down. It’s hard to see them getting anything more now despite the improvement shown during this training camp.



This article has 25 Comments

  1. The drafting of Trey Lance didn’t work out for either the Niners or Lance. Both are losers. Stuff happens and you have to react to the realities of the day. The Niners found Purdy and he is superior to what Lance could be be in the near term and possibly the mid term. 2 things occurred to make the situation what it is today. First we’re the injuries and second was the drafting of Purdy. Without these 2 events maybe Lance would have had a long Niners career. Those are the realities and both sides have to live with that.

    The priority in Camp has been to decide who is the best backup. Now that it has been decided, both parties most likely need to move on. Lance is young and talented and will certainly get opportunities to develop and hone his skills and the Niners are likely to do very well with Purdy going forward. This is life and we all get better through our experiences and Lance will also.

    1. Agree that dumping Lance is a distraction and the decisions should have been made in the offseason. But the truth is, the real mistake was drafting Lance and paying way too much. Looks as if the Niners got caught up in the hype. Lance will never be a top franchise QB. That was fairly clear to me in 2021 when I saw his initial camp action. I am sure others saw it as well. It is an all-time mistaken draft and a horrible bust. That said, if Purdy turns out to be a miracle draft gift, it might even out. Kyle saw in Purdy early on what he never saw in Lance. I wish Lance well. He is a very nice man and such a decent person. If only the QB skills had matched his sterling character.

  2. Are there anybody other than me willing to finally admit that trade was a waste of all of those valuable draft picks. They could have drafted players that could have helped SF win the Superbowl for all we know. Oh, sure. Back then it sounded exciting. But now I realize how could they break the bank for a guy with not much college experience. It’s almost worse than when that garbage of a GM Trent Baalke passed on Patrick Mahomes for a CB who didn’t pan out. Patrick went on to win two Superbowls. You see my point? Don’t get me wrong. I understand that sometimes you have to take chances and gamble in life. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t. In this case, it appears the Niners rolled the dice and lost. BUT! Thank goodness our skill players kept us afloat instead of sinking. Just think. The last pick in the draft – Mr no- longer – irrelevant Brock Purdy – out did a #3 overall pick and is now the starter. But it’s been known to happen lot’s of times.

    1. It was Shanahan and Lynch who passed on Mahomes. They chose Solomon Thomas as the #3 overall pick!

  3. After watching that Broncos game, that think Sam Darnold earned the second stringer. Even though Trey Lance did play better than he did in the first game, Sam was a little better, probably due to his longer experience in the league, imho. But I don’t think Lance is a bum. Injuries aside, maybe for the first time, Kyle Shanahan’s system didn’t work for somebody. Maybe Trance could be better in somebody else’s system. Nothing’s perfect.

  4. Shanahan is going to get crucified if they trade Lance. The narrative will go as follows: “The Shanahan’s ruined RG3s career by playing him injured and now Kyle ruined Trey Lance’s career by running QB Dives with no regard for the health of the QB. Kyle Shanahan can not be trusted to draft or develop a QB the most important position in all professional sports. Kyle Shanahan will never win a superbowl because he can’t develop QBs” Not that I care too much about heat Kyle may take (he richly deserves the criticism). I care that this will be a major distraction for the team to start the season.

    1. You are spot on with your analysis and insights here, 1.6, despite the inevitable criticism
      you’ll get from Shanahan sycophants and Niner homers like Felix.

      1. Thanks for calling me a homer which I equate to the word fan. Why would a fan hate on the team, coach or player he is a fan of?

    2. 1.6, he won’t be crucified by anyone who matters or knows much about football and he won’t even know he’s being crucified and wouldn’t care if he did know. Instead those who matter will celebrate the fact that he puts together one of the best rosters in the league year after year and is considered one of the top coaches in the league. Actual fans love the fact that they are in the playoffs each year and are a Super Bowl contender. Whose got it better than us fans? No one.

      1. You are insane if you don’t think Shanahan & Lynch deserve criticism for the trade and the drafting, and the development of Trey Lance. In fact, the criticism has already started:

        Louis Riddick on ESPN : “I don’t care what Brock Purdy has returned to you, you cannot trade 3 first round picks and a 2nd and not have people have to answer for the mismanagement of Trey Lance”

        1. I can understand your criticism of the pick, but It could have turned out completely different if he hadn’t gotten injured and they hadn’t drafted Purdy. I still don’t fault the pick, but even if I did, I’d still look at the big picture of the huge success he has brought to us fans. If that makes me insane, so be it.

    3. Pat,
      Who is going to crucify him?
      The same reporters that find fault in almost every decision he makes?
      Bloggers that somehow think they know more Shanahan?

      What about crowd that will cry louder now that Lance could likely be traded?
      To them, I would say, calm down!
      Did the 49ers become a losing organization because Trey didn’t work-out? Did the 49ers fail to make the playoffs last season because Lance was lost in the second game due to injury?

      So, we essentially lost 1st round picks. Sure, that was tough, but the 49ers have not only survived through that, they have thrived.
      And, the 49ers are still very much in the Superbowl picture this year.

      If the 49ers manage to win the SB this season, the crucifiers will not only forget Lance, they will look like cry-babies. And we already know who they are.

  5. Really? I could have sworn it was Trent “Buumke”. But either way the bad decision came back to haunt us when Patrick and the Kansas City Cheats beat us in the Superbowl.

    1. Man!! Was I ever so disappointed when they cut Khalon Leborn. Even though I know it’s a business. They should have stashed him on the practice squad. You know Niner RB’s history for always getting hurt.

    1. Plus they weren’t looking to draft a QB their first year. The plan was to build up the roster, starting with the defensive line. Secondly the QB plan was to get Cousins the next year which they most likely would have if Jimmy G hadn’t landed in their lap. All kudos to Andy Reed who got Mahomes at pick #10. I’m sure there are still heart aches from the 9 teams who picked someone else.

    2. Kyle did not draft Ryan in Atlanta but he did develop him into one the best NFL QB’s for a time. Give credit where credit is due.

  6. Passing on Mahomes to draft Thomas TURNED out to be a big mistake……but the thought process was sound.
    in 2016. we had a historically bad run defense that needed improving……and we were going to get KK in free agency the following year. The hope was that Thomas was an Aaron Donald clone……..
    Context is important……

  7. Its simply not true that we could have used those 3 draft picks to win a SB!!! In what has become the Trey Lance debacle…the context and salary cap complexities are never acknowledged. No one ever talks about the MONEY!!!
    Had we never drafted TL……..and stuck with JG………we would have paid JG about $28 mil last year ( AT LEAST)……and then had to give him a big raise ( probably last year) by now.
    Explain to me how we keep this roster together, Re up Bosa, Pay JG around $30 mil a year on a NEW long term contract…..AND AFFORD to pay 2 additional first round picks ( TL counts towards the 3 first rounders, but we’d be paying 2 more).

    The fact is, we NEEDED A QB on a rookie deal!
    In a perfect world……that qb would be Purdy and we would have had 3 first round position players instead of Lance.
    In a near perfect world……we sit tight and take Feilds…..( we might have had to move up a few picks….but not so far we would have to give additional firt rounders).
    Under no circumstances would i have wanted Mac Jones

  8. And im not sold on TL being a bust!!! He was beat out for the backup job……
    TL has 5 games of experience……
    SD has 5 years!!!!
    TL has far more physical talent than BP.
    TL has played about 15 games combined college and NFL……
    With BP that number probably closer to 50…
    SD probably closer to 100.

    Its a real shame!!! The problem was the success of the franchise! We were too good to Let the young qb play and take his lumps……..cos average qb play could have gotten us to a SB. Ive always been in the camp that TL sitting as a rookie was the right choice, cos JG could and almost did get to the SB…….
    but seeing how its played out……im changing my mind! We didnt go to the SB, let alone win it…….and now we probably chase off the the qb that will likely go on to have the best career of the 3

  9. All of this hand wringing and hysterical screaming may just be all for naught. There is a decent chance that the 49ers may not find a trade partner for TL and he ends up on the 49ers 53. With the 9ers record for keeping QBs healthy he could end up starting games for the 9ers this season. Then, who knows what happens. I was watching D. Lombardi today and he said the 9ers don’t save that much cap room this year by trading TL this year. The real savings come by trading him after this season. So everyone calm down Lance may be around for a while.

  10. all this ranting and raving and finger pointing is moot .what was done is over. the Lance experiment was a failure. get over it and move on people

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