49ers 2023 training camp primer: Dates, position battles, big questions & more

49ers football is back, baby (sort of).
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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San Francisco 49ers, Nick Bosa
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

Biggest questions facing 49ers at training camp

Teams enter training camp with plenty of question marks. The goal, of course, is to answer as many of those questions as possible.

Kyle Shanahan and his staff may be vague about what their expectations are between now and the preseason, and it's likely they won't reveal much.

But, if they were smart, they'd be looking for answers regarding these key questions.

How will Steve Wilks alter 49ers defense?

San Francisco's defense allowed fewer points than any other team in the NFL last season, which resulted in coordinator DeMeco Ryans getting a head-coaching gig with the Houston Texans.

New defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, coming over from the Carolina Panthers, has promised not to change things too much, which makes sense given his level of inherited talent.

Still, can the 49ers maintain that level of prowess on his side of the ball? Or will Wilks wind up trying too hard to put his own stamp on things to get back into the head-coaching realm where he once was prior to joining the Niners?

Will Brock Purdy come back fully healthy?

Brock Purdy is penciled in as San Francisco's starter, yes. Doing what he did down the stretch last season will prompt that result.

But Purdy is also coming off offseason elbow surgery, and he might not be close to 100 percent when camp begins or even concludes.

Should the 49ers rush him back to make a point? No. But they can safely wonder if his arm strength will be a negative X-factor throughout the upcoming season.

Will Nick Bosa get paid?

The Niners have a history of rewarding their top players with hefty contract extensions right around the time of training camp, and both George Kittle and Fred Warner are prime examples.

Next up is Bosa, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, who could easily command more money than any other non-quarterback in NFL history, perhaps in the range of $35 million per year.

That's a lot.

San Francisco wants to pay it, but going about doing so will be a challenge.

Got any more of those training camp trades?

The 49ers have engaged in trades during training camp before, and considering a Super Bowl-caliber roster, it wouldn't be too shocking to see something executed once more by general manager John Lynch.

This year, however, eyes will probably be on Trey Lance as a trade chip. After all, Lance was the subject of trade rumors leading up to and during the 2023 NFL Draft, and additional speculation suggested Lynch and Co. could move Lance during camp, provided another team suddenly needed a starting-caliber quarterback.

If one of those other teams loses its signal-caller for whatever reason, all eyes will turn back upon Lance and the 49ers.

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