The 49ers have a deep quarterback room after adding Trey Lance in the 2021 NFL Draft, but that’ll change a lot between now and Week 1.
The San Francisco 49ers made it clear they were going to vastly shake up the quarterback room as soon as they traded up from No. 12 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft to No. 3, then using that selection on North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance.
Lance is envisioned to be the head of the franchise for the next 10-plus years, eventually taking the reins from the Niners’ current starter, Jimmy Garoppolo.
Yet Garoppolo is still presumed to be No. 1 on the depth chart heading towards Week 1. The fact Lance saw just one game in 2020 before the pandemic shut down his season and has just one full year as a starter under his belt, 2019, is evidence enough San Francisco wants to take its time with its newest high-profile investment.
Because of this, Jimmy G’s job is likely safe. At least for now.
49ers Offseason Quarterback Depth Chart
Currently, the 49ers have five quarterbacks on their offseason roster:
- Jimmy Garoppolo
- Trey Lance
- Nate Sudfeld
- Josh Rosen
- Josh Johnson
It’s likely head coach Kyle Shanahan keeps three signal-callers available like he has the last two years. And especially with the pandemic remaining something of a factor, having a reserve on a weekly inactive list is probably a smart idea anyway.
The quick-take reaction, at least as far as who makes the regular-season cut, is probably the most accurate one: the first three names stay.
Barring injury or quite the offseason shocker, neither Garoppolo nor Lance are going anywhere, leaving Sudfeld, Rosen and Johnson as the other three options.
Rosen, of course, has had quite the tumultuous NFL career after being a high-profile first-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals back in 2018, traded the following year to the Miami Dolphins before being relegated to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice squad in 2020, then ultimately being plucked up by the Niners late last year when their own quarterback room was decimated by injury.
San Francisco inked Rosen to a one-year deal to stick around, and there are those who’ll argue he deserves a shot to hang around.
Yet Sudfeld seems to have an edge here. For starters, he worked under current 49ers quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello when both were with the Philadelphia Eagles last season, and Sudfeld also received $252,000 in guaranteed money of his $990,000 total one-year contract, per Over the Cap.
That’s a lot for a pure camp body.
In contrast, neither Rosen nor Johnson have any guarantees in their respective contracts. It’ll be simple for the Niners to part ways with either player between now and the regular season.
There is another wrinkle here, though. Last year, the NFL allowed previously ineligible players to be added to teams’ practice squads in light of the pandemic and its after-effects on rosters. To date, the league hasn’t specified whether or not it’ll revert back to the previous rules regulating who can be named to these reserve/developmental units. But if the practice squad winds up being formulated with or similar to the same rules as 2020, it’s possible someone like Rosen or Johnson hangs around with San Francisco in that capacity.
If not, don’t expect Rosen and Johnson to hang around much longer.