49ers sign QB Darnold to one-year deal

After losing Jimmy Garoppolo to the Las Vegas Raiders, the 49ers add depth to their QB room with the USC vet.

The San Francisco 49ers have reached a one-year agreement with former Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold.

The move comes on the heels of Jimmy Garoppolo’s departure to the Las Vegas Raiders and the return of Brock Purdy and Trey Lance from injuries.


Driving the news: Darnold is expected to provide additional depth at quarterback, a position that was battered all of 2022, with the crisis point during the NFC Championship game as Purdy dealt with in-game injuries.

  • Darnold, who is 25 years old, made strides last season in rebuilding his career, which had been in decline since he was selected with the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
  • After being activated from the injured reserve, he won four of his last six games for the Panthers, throwing seven touchdowns and three interceptions while rushing for two more touchdowns.

The road to San Francisco: The Panthers acquired Darnold in a trade with the Jets in the 2021 offseason, hoping that a change of scenery would rejuvenate his career.

  • He won three games before losing eight of his last nine games, missing six starts due to a shoulder injury. Carolina traded for Baker Mayfield, the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, to compete with Darnold for the starting position last season.
  • Darnold lost the job in training camp and then suffered a high ankle sprain in the final preseason game. He began the season on injured reserve and didn’t get a chance to play until late in the season after Mayfield was released after going 2-8 as the starter.
  • Darnold attributed some of his improvement last season to spending a lot of time with defensive players while on injured reserve to gain a different perspective.
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