Sam Darnold agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the San Francisco 49ers in March. He will be in a crowded quarterback room with former No. 3 pick Trey Lance and Brock Purdy, who led the team to a 7-1 record and the NFC Championship game in eight games as a starter.
It is unclear if Purdy will return for the start of the regular season. He tore his UCL in the NFC title game and recently began throwing. But Darnold could make a case to play if keeps performing well.
A key playmaker for the 49ers, tight end George Kittle, said Darnold has “a lot of talent.”
“I've really noticed how he interacts with the other guys,” Kittle said, via The New York Post. “He's super positive toward everybody and has a relationship with people; he's not shy and I think that's what you need in a quarterback. I'm really happy to have him here.”
Darnold played for the Carolina Panthers the last two seasons, starting 17 combined games. In six starts in 2022, Darnold led the Panthers to a 4-2 record while he threw for 1,143 passing yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions.
The 49ers hope to build on last season and reach the Super Bowl.
“We're practicing well, practicing smart, keeping guys healthy, and just trying to keep our talented team on the field,” Kittle said.
Darnold was selected with the No. 3 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. He started there for three seasons before he was traded to the Panthers prior to the 2021 season.