SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

QB Sam Darnold raved about the 49ers’ organization in his first press conference

Mar 16, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: Mar 17, 2023, 12:46 pm

Sam Darnold #14 of the Carolina Panthers walks off the field after defeating the Detroit Lions at B...

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 24: Sam Darnold #14 of the Carolina Panthers walks off the field after defeating the Detroit Lions at Bank of America Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

The San Francisco 49ers have had a problem with keeping quarterbacks healthy the last few seasons, especially in 2022. Losing three QBs by the end of the season, the Red & Gold needed a little more insurance behind Brock Purdy and Trey Lance. Enter former third-overall pick, Sam Darnold.

Darnold inked a one-year deal with the 49ers this week, lining him up to be the No. 2 QB heading into the 2023 training camp. When speaking to the media for the first time as a 49er, Darnold expressed a ton of excitement, explaining how it was an easy decision to come to in the end.

“I think at the end of the day, it was a fairly easy decision for me to be able to come here and just be able to go to work,” Sam Darnold said Thursday. “That’s what I’m most excited for. To work with Kyle [Shanahan], with Brian Griese and the great personnel that’s on this roster from top to bottom. Just excited to get started in this organization and get to work.”

The USC alum also has some familiarity in the Bay, working with running back Christian McCaffrey and defensive coordinator Steve Wilks on the Carolina Panthers last season. Darnold raved about Wilks at length, thrilled to be on the same team as one of the smartest minds in football.

“The way that he coaches, the way that he gets the back end right and ties everything together. I think that’s rare to find in a defensive coordinator, and Coach Wilks has that…He’s one of the smartest defensive coaches I’ve been around since I’ve been in the NFL,” Darnold stated.

While Darnold’s deal is initially set at $4.5 million for the year, play-time incentives could push that number to $11 million. It’s unlikely that he reaches those figures, but for a QB who helped keep Carolina in postseason contention in 2022, he hopes to build off his most efficient NFL season.

“Not forcing things that weren’t there…That was the biggest thing for me: Staying within myself, staying patient,” he explained.

The former highly-touted prospect is also ecstatic to work with Purdy & Lance, two players that have shown flashes of huge upside. Seeing similarities with each QB, Darnold hopes to have a collaborative effort in the quarterbacks’ room next season.

“I’m very familiar with their games,” he said. “I feel like all three of us are pretty similar. We have the ability to get out and make plays when we need to and we can also throw from pocket. So I see a lot of similarities in all three of our games. Just excited to work with them and meet them as soon as possible.”

Much of the offseason discussion will be surrounding the QB battle in training camp. Being the only gunslinger not coming off an injury, Darnold knows he could be relied upon in the regular season. But that’s not at the forefront of his mind, as his mentality is similar to the 49ers: Win games by any means necessary.

“There are some unknowns with Brock’s injury and Trey coming back. Those are some things that, with a good quarterback room…everything’s going to work out. At the end of the day, as long as we’re winning games, that’s the only thing that matters to me,” Sam Darnold said.

Click here for more info on Sam Darnold’s deal. Stay locked in at Sactown Sports for all things NFL & 49ers.

Newsletter

San Francisco 49ers

Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers breaks a tackle from Jalen Thompson #34 of the Arizona...

Amiliano Fragoso

49ers Insider believes Brandon Aiyuk will not be traded this offseason

Brad Graham of SFNiners joined the midday show Wednesday to share his thoughts on the San Francisco 49ers and the Brandon Aiyuk saga.

5 hours ago

Talanoa Hufanga #29 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates an interception intended for Tank Bigsby ...

Amiliano Fragoso

49ers Talanoa Hufanga eyes full return by Week 1 of 2024 regular season

49ers S Talanoa Hufanga is progressing well in his recovery from a torn ACL, looking to be ready to go by Week 1 of the regular season.

1 day ago

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 21: Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrat...

Amiliano Fragoso

49ers Christian McCaffrey named Madden 25 cover athlete

49ers RB Christian McCaffrey has been named the Madden 25 cover athlete, the first for a 49er player in the video game's history.

1 day ago

Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers participates during San Francisco 49ers practice ahead...

Amiliano Fragoso

Brandon Aiyuk WR coach says he is now ‘pessimistic’ about 49ers contract talks

Brandon Aiyuk is apparently feeling more pessimistic about a deal getting done with the 49ers, according to his coach T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

5 days ago

Pro Bowl Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers reacts after beating the Seattle Seahaw...

Amiliano Fragoso

Christian McCaffrey ‘fired up’ to remain a 49er long-term

Christian McCaffrey is delighted to remain a 49er for the long haul, only focused on lifting the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season.

7 days ago

Brandon Aiyuk #11 of the San Francisco 49ers walks onto the field against the Dallas Cowboys during...

Amiliano Fragoso

Kyle Shanahan says Brandon Aiyuk missing from minicamp due to contract dispute

Kyle Shanahan wasn't fazed by Brandon Aiyuk missing minicamp this week, understanding what the business side of football comes down to.

8 days ago

QB Sam Darnold raved about the 49ers’ organization in his first press conference