Why Sam Darnold caught the 49ers’ attention in NFL Free Agency, per Kyle Shanahan

Shanahan describes what made the 49ers sign veteran Darnold originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

PHOENIX — While most of the 49ers quarterback discussions at the NFL annual meeting revolved around Trey Lance and Brock Purdy, Kyle Shanahan has another quarterback he will work with once the team gets back together on April 17.

The club signed Sam Darnold to a One-year, $2.45 million contract During free agency adding the sixth-year play caller to the 49ers’ quarterbacks room for the 2023 NFL season.

“Sam has as good a skill as there is,” Shanahan said Tuesday. “That’s why he went into the draft as a third pick, and if you study his play, you see it. I don’t think he’s always been in the best situations, which is tough for a quarterback.

“It’s tough for all players, but it’s a position and there are another 10 players around you.”

The former No. 3 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft spent his first three seasons with the New York Jets before joining the Carolina Panthers, where he spent the last two years. Darnold has appeared as a starter in 56 games with a 21-34 record.

Perhaps Darnold’s most unappealing statistic is his touchdown-to-interception ratio. In five seasons in the league, the 25-year-old has thrown 61 touchdowns and 55 interceptions, but that’s not stopping Shanahan from believing in the young quarterback.

“I think Sam has played and done some really good things in this league,” Shanahan said. “He didn’t win a lot of games and got into some situations where you need to keep both teams in the game because you need to keep throwing that ball to give your team a chance to win.

“So he doesn’t always have the best stats, but you can see his ability. He’s had this ability since his freshman year in college when we first started watching him, and there’s no reason he couldn’t.

Darnold will share team representatives with Lance during OTAs and training camps while Purdy recovers from surgery to its ulnar collateral ligament. The club is likely to add a fourth quarterback to the 90-man roster until Purdy is cleared to participate, which will be in early September if the product’s recovery from Iowa State goes according to plan.

RELATED: Darnold’s focus was on the learning system, not the depth map

Until then, expect to see you Darnold learns of Shanahan’s transgression while working with quarterbacks coach Brian Griese, who is largely responsible for the lack of production declines as the team went through multiple personnel changes at the center in 2022.

“I look forward to getting to know him as a person,” Shanahan said. “I’ve always liked him as an athlete and I’ve always liked him as a prospect. I like the way he throws, I like his athletic ability. We look forward to having him with us, getting to work and seeing how he plays on offense.”

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Source : sports.yahoo.com

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