July 12, 2024

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch brought in quarterback Sam Darnold this year to provide additional depth. However, there are speculations that Darnold might move to Lynch’s former team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, during the upcoming offseason. Spotrac anticipates this move, considering the Buccaneers’ potential need for a quarterback in 2024, especially if Baker Mayfield departs in free agency, leaving a lack of seasoned veteran experience behind him.

Michael Ginnitti of Spotrac suggests that the Buccaneers could sign Darnold to a one-year, $2 million contract to strengthen their quarterback depth. Currently, the Buccaneers have Kyle Trask, a former second-round pick, and John Wolford as Mayfield’s backups.

Sam Darnold Pass Decides It, in Favor of Dolphins, Not Jets - The New York  Times

Despite the 49ers having the financial means to retain Darnold, Ginnitti predicts that the team will pursue New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones. Due to Jones’ struggles and being benched this season, Ginnitti suggests that the 49ers could acquire the former No. 15 pick by trading spots in the seventh round of the draft.

The critical question for the 49ers is whether Jones would be an improvement over Darnold. This decision is crucial considering occasional subpar performances and injury concerns with current starter Brock Purdy in his less than two seasons with the team.

Moreover, the 49ers are aware of the unpredictable nature of injuries in the NFL, as demonstrated by their own experiences. Injuries to key players, including quarterbacks, have affected the team’s performance, and they recognize the potential impact it could have on their playoff aspirations, as seen in the previous season.

Mac Jones vs. Sam Darnold: Which Makes More Sense?

San Francisco found itself in the position of having to choose between two previously highly touted AFC East quarterbacks, Darnold and Jones, whose performances with their original teams did not meet expectations.

Darnold, who started his NFL career with the New York Jets in 2018, failed to achieve a winning season in his four years as a starter. Throughout his tenure, he never surpassed 19 touchdowns or fell below 11 interceptions in any season where he played more than 11 games. While the 49ers have a limited understanding of his current capabilities, Darnold’s recent performance includes completing 60% of his passes for 108 yards and a touchdown, along with an interception, in eight game appearances. Notably, his struggles were evident in a missed opportunity against the Baltimore Ravens, where he failed to lead the 49ers to a comeback, despite being inside the Ravens’ 10-yard line, resulting in a 33-19 loss.

On the other hand, Jones initially showed promise as a rookie with the New England Patriots, guiding them to the playoffs with 3,801 yards and 22 touchdowns. However, his performance declined in subsequent years. In the 2021 season, he threw for 2,997 yards and 14 touchdowns, accompanied by 11 interceptions, contributing to a 6-8 record. Unfortunately, Jones continued to regress in the following year, recording 2,120 yards, 10 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions, with a disappointing 2-9 record in 11 starts.

San Francisco Could Fit Mac Jones & Sam Darnold on the Roster

This scenario would certainly be intriguing—a situation where two former first-round quarterbacks find themselves backing up a former Mr. Irrelevant. The possibility arises if the 49ers decide to re-sign Darnold and acquire Jones through a trade.

There’s potential room for such a dynamic quarterback lineup in San Francisco, especially considering that third-string quarterback Brandon Allen is set to become a free agent after the current season. This opens up the possibility for the 49ers to assemble a quarterback room with a wealth of experience, featuring three players who have substantial starting experience under their belts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *