Brock Purdy vs Trey Lance: Who should be the 49ers QB next year?
If there’s one thing that “Mr. Irrelevant” has shown us this season, it’s that he’s most definitely not. Not only has the rookie kept the 49ers in the hunt for a Super Bowl title, but he’s played some pretty good football while doing it.
With both their starting quarterback and backup having been sidelined by injuries, the 49ers were forced to turn to a rookie signal caller who was the last pick in the NFL draft. Now just one win away from a Super Bowl appearance, Brock Purdy has given the franchise something to think about, which is to say: Should he be the starting quarterback for the San Francsico 49ers next season?
Where is Brock Purdy at right now?
Though it would be fair to say, that the young signal caller had a rough introduction to the NFL post season, in the Wild Card Round game against the Seattle Seahawks, it would also be equally fair to say, that he responded well. In the end Purdy threw for 332 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in the drubbing of their division rival. What’s more, is that he also rushed for a touchdown, making him the first rookie in NFL history to account for four TDs in a playoff game. Not bad for a kid who was the 262nd overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Can Brock Purdy take over as the 49ers’ starting QB?
While some may argue that Kyle Shanahan is a quarterback friendly coach, the fact is that Purdy has actually given a very good account of himself. It’s true, that from a front office point of view, one has to give a look to Trey Lance given that it’s only his first year with the franchise. On the other hand, Purdy has at the very least matched the stat line offered by soon to be free agent and current backup, Jimmy Garoppolo. Take a look for yourself:
|Jimmy Garoppolo||Stats||Brock Purdy|
|11 (10 starts)||Games||9 (5 starts)|
|69.5%||Passing Grade PFF||74.4%|
With Garoppolo’s situation now up in the air, it’s quite likely that Purdy has at minimum an inside track for the starting job. On the other hand, there is Lance to think of as we mentioned before. In case you didn’t know, it was in the 2021 NFL Draft that the 49ers traded up for Lance. At the time, fans couldn’t believe their luck, as fantasies of a Shanahan offense led by Trey Lance began to be discussed. Unfortunately for both the Niners and Lance, however, those dreams were derailed by a Week 1 ankle injury that brought an end to his season. This is all to say, that it’s all but certain that San Francisco is going to want a return on the investment they made in Lance. What’s more, is the fact that the 3rd year of a player’s contract is typically the year in which their fifth-year option is decided, which means we’re likely to see Lance getting the nod ahead of Purdy when they enter training camp. At any rate, this is the kind of headache the Niners will probably be happy to have.
What’s been said about Brock Purdy’s chances?
Firstly, there’s one thing to consider which is Purdy’s contract. At around $870,000 in 2023, the rookie’s deal is basically nothing when put against the salary cap. What that means, is that the team has way more wiggle room when looking to build a team around him. With that in mind, plus his actual on field performances, it would appear - according to sources - that “battle is already over,” and Purdy has “earned Shanahan’s trust and confidence in a manner that Lance has not, and practice reps and preseason performances aren’t changing that.” Assuming that’s the case, then we’d have to assume that only an absolutely stunning performance from Lance will take the spot from Purdy heading into Week 1 of the next season. Of course, this is the NFL and anything can happen.