5 bold predictions for 49ers 2022 offseason

General manager John Lynch of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
General manager John Lynch of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Nick Mullens, Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns quarterback Nick Mullens (9) Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers bold prediction No. 4: Niners bring back an old friend, Nick Mullens

Laugh now, but we’re being bold.

Trey Lance is going to be promoted from No. 2 on the quarterbacking depth chart to the starter, meaning there’ll be a void to back him up. And unless the Niners elect to retain last year’s No. 3 option, Nate Sudfelt, they’ll again be perusing the market for another backup quarterback.

As is usually the case with starters, should San Francisco lose Lance for a long period of time because of injury, it’ll be in trouble. And given the complex nature of offense Kyle Shanahan operates, it might help to grab someone during the offseason who’s at least well-versed enough in the system.

How about quarterback Nick Mullens?

Mullens’ biggest success as a pro, albeit limited, came with the 49ers primarily during 2018 when he was a relative unknown. He flamed out with both the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns after leaving the Niners in 2021. But Kyle Shanahan regularly felt Mullens was cerebrally good enough to know what to do with the ball.

Related Story: 5 quarterbacks 49ers can sign to back up Trey Lance

Even if Mullens’ physical limitations prevented him from being anything more than an emergency backup.

San Francisco will need one of those, though, and Mullens would likely be more than happy to come back to the team with which he’s had the most success.