The Athletic ranks 49ers as a ‘loser’ of the 2023 NFL offseason
Jun 26, 2023, 5:00 PM
(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
The San Francisco 49ers are coming off an improbable 2022 season, starting three different quarterbacks and still making the NFC Championship game. Despite keeping the roster primarily intact over the offseason, some don’t think the Red & Gold will repeat their success in 2023.
The Athletic’s Mike Jones recently wrote a winners & losers column for the 2023 offseason. In the article, Jones listed the 49ers as a loser this year, explaining that quarterback concerns are the main reason for skepticism next season.
Here’s what he had to say:
They just had a remarkable season despite rampant quarterback injury drama. But the NFC runners-up now have a lot of questions at the most important position. Will Brock Purdy recover from offseason elbow surgery and recapture the magic that saw him go from Mr. Irrelevant to winner of eight straight games (including two in the playoffs)? Is Trey Lance or Sam Darnold the starter if Purdy isn’t ready by Week 1? The Niners also lost Ryans, their talented defensive coordinator, who lured a few standout players with him to Houston.
It’s been about 3.5 months since Brock Purdy’s early-March surgery and he’s already been throwing for nearly a month.
If his recovery continues at this rate, consider it very likely that is the 49ers’ Week 1 starter https://t.co/9rvGUWSuu2
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) June 26, 2023
Jones was also hypercritical of the rest of the NFC West, placing the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams in the “loser” bracket as well. Only the Seattle Seahawks were seen as “winners” by Jones, partially because of the stability of QB Geno Smith.
“The 49ers have questions at quarterback, but the Seahawks solved theirs and could contend for the NFC West crown,” Jones wrote Friday. “Not only did they retain Geno Smith on a reasonable deal that suits both team and quarterback, they also brought back defensive tone-setter Bobby Wagner and added more young talent to a steadily improving defense. The 2023 draft class also includes impactful offensive players like wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba and RB Zach Charbonnet.”
While there’s still time before the start of training camp, many see the NFC West being a competition between Seattle and San Francisco, once again, for the top spot. Only time will tell who wins out next season, but first, the 49ers need to figure out who their starting QB is.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) June 26, 2023