It might not be the quarterback news 49ers fans were expecting, but the Niners announced they signed reserve QB Nate Sudfeld to a one-year deal.
While most San Francisco 49ers fans are busy wondering about which rookie quarterback the team will select at No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft later this month, the Niners made a move to bolster the back end of their quarterback room by inking Nate Sudfeld to a one-year deal on Wednesday.
Sudfeld, 27 years old and from Modesto, California, was originally a sixth-round draft selection of the Washington Football Team back in 2016 and spent his rookie season as a third-string backup behind Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy before being waived in 2017 and then joining the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad.
The former Indiana quarterback saw action in one game that year and was part of Philly’s Super Bowl squad in 2017, eventually spending four seasons with the Eagles before hitting the open market in 2020.
San Francisco is fully expected to draft a quarterback with its top pick in this year’s draft yet already has other QBs — Jimmy Garoppolo, Josh Rosen and Josh Johnson — on the roster.
But with the 49ers also potentially moving Garoppolo, either this offseason or next, there’s always the possibility they intended to add at least one veteran to the mix who might be a slightly better fit than either Rosen or Johnson.
Nate Sudfeld has some continuity with 49ers offense
Washington’s offense back in 2016 wasn’t entirely different than the one employed currently by Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan, as then-head coach Jay Gruden stemmed from the same offensive system.
It’s surely reasonable to assume Shanahan signed off on this pickup because of Sudfeld’s development that year alongside Cousins, with whom Shanahan has had ties ever since 2013.
Yet the other point of note is current San Francisco quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello worked with Sudfeld directly in 2020 in Philadelphia, so it’s also a likelihood Scangarello pushed for Sudfeld to join the depth chart.
While the 49ers’ remaining moves to shake up their quarterbacking depth chart are far from determined, one might assume Sudfeld will compete with both Rosen and Johnson for the No. 3 spot on the 53-man roster this season, provided the Niners keep Garoppolo after selecting a rookie signal-caller later this month.