John Lynch: Brock Purdy is the ‘leader in the clubhouse’ for the 49ers’ 2023 starting QB job

Mar 27, 2023, 12:09 PM

Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up prior to the NFC Championship Game against the ...

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 29: Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up prior to the NFC Championship Game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on January 29, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

The San Francisco 49ers are entering the 2023 offseason with more questions than answers at the quarterback position.

What’s new?

Despite the team’s unfortunate luck with keeping QBs healthy, the 49ers have doubled down on the notion that rookie sensation Brock Purdy is still the man for the job, despite undergoing offseason elbow surgery. At the NFL Owners’ meetings in Arizona, general manager John Lynch confirmed that it’s Purdy’s job to lose, giving him the keys to the kingdom upon his return from injury.

“I think Brock has earned the right with the way he played,” Lynch said to the media Monday. “He’s probably the leader in the clubhouse. I’ll let [head coach Kyle Shanahan] make those kinds of decisions. But I know when we talk, I think Brock has probably earned that right to be the guy. If we were to line up, he’d probably take that first snap.”

Despite undergoing surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in March, the 49ers’ brass was impressed with Purdy’s ability to adapt last season. Coming in for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo Week 13, the Arizona native went undefeated in the regular season, throwing for 13 TDs and four INTs in five starts. The numbers, along with passing the eye test, are reasons why SF feels confident that Brock Purdy can return to form once he’s healthy.

“It really kind of surprised us how adept he was and elusive he was at extending plays but also playing within the system,” Lynch stated. “He did everything well. Is there room for growth? Absolutely, but he’s left us all with a lot of confidence that he’s a real guy and we’re excited about that.”

The 49ers have another QB prospect in the wings in Trey Lance.

Coming off his own season-ending injury, Lance is expected to be ready by the start of OTAs in May. But after spending most of his career on the sidelines, the former third overall pick will have an uphill climb to the starting job in 2023.

“We’ve always said we don’t care where you were drafted, if you were drafted, that’s always been our stance…We’re still very excited about Trey but I think the way Brock played, he probably has earned that right to be the guy. But it’s certainly a competition. We’ll always have that,” Lynch explained.

The Red & Gold also signed QB Sam Darnold to a one-year deal this spring, giving Shanahan & Lynch even more insurance under center.


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