49ers bolster quarterback room with this well-traveled free agent

Josh Dobbs gave the Niners some fits when he faced them with the Cardinals last season.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Dobbs (9)
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Dobbs (9) / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The 49ers are adding quarterback Josh Dobbs, who'll likely back up Brock Purdy in 2024.

For those worried the San Francisco 49ers would expend something, anything to trade for New York Jets flameout quarterback Zach Wilson, relax.

It's probably not going to happen now.

On Monday, news broke that the Niners were inking journeyman quarterback Josh Dobbs to a one-year deal, first reported by his agent, Mike McCartney:

Dobbs, 29 years old, entered the league with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a fourth-round NFL Draft pick in 2017 out of Tennessee. He saw regular-season action in 2018 and 2020 with the Steelers before signing on with the Tennessee Titans in 2022, then the Arizona Cardinals in 2023 where he faced San Francisco in an NFC West showdown, going 28-of-41 with two touchdowns in the Cardinals' 35-16 defeat at the hands of the 49ers.

Arizona subsequently traded Dobbs to the Minnesota Vikings to help alleviate their loss of starting quarterback Kirk Cousins, and the former went 95-of-151 for 895 yards with five passing touchdowns, three rushing touchdowns and five interceptions thrown over five games.

What's the 49ers' plan for Josh Dobbs in 2024?

The Niners already have their starter in Brock Purdy. That's not a question.

But a viable backup was certainly a need after Sam Darnold departed for Minnesota in free agency. While San Francisco re-signed third-string quarterback Brandon Allen to a one-year deal, the quarterback room was far from complete.

The 49ers could have opted to grab a rookie quarterback in this year's draft or coud have engineered a trade for someone like Wilson, neither of which sound promising as insurance behind Purdy for a team contending for nothing short of a Super Bowl in 2024.

Dobbs, a well-traveled veteran with modest success at various points, is a stopgap option who could potentially start a few games if Purdy ultimately misses any time because of injury.

Experience matters for a backup. And while Dobbs' presence doesn't eliminate the possibility of the Niners inking another quarterback or drafting one later this offseason, it certainly takes the pressure off having to do so.

The only remaining question is if Dobbs winds up being QB2 or QB3, assuming he makes the 53-man roster.

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