Brock Purdy has healed up well and is currently beginning to throw again following elbow surgery. While the quarterback competition will be the main fous on training camp, logically this shouldn't be a conversation.
Am I going to throw my hat in this particular conversation? You can absolutely bet I will because it's going to be 90% of what everyone talks about when training camp eventually begins for the San Francisco 49ers.
Brock Purdy will be returning and is rumored to be the presumptive starter regardless, which will be a sticking point for fans of Trey Lance who point out that it was only injury and not poor play that forced Lance out to begin with.
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This is a fair point, but I feel it prudent to just come out and say it. It doesn't matter and it isn't a factor. Sorry, but it just isn't.
Neither is the idea that the team can't just give up on a guy that was taken at No. 3 overall following a blockbuster trade. It's unfortunate that it's ended up this way, but there's one more important thing.
Purdy is really good at being a quarterback. Like, really, really good.
To call him a game manager is almost insulting to how he's played. Does he have as good an arm or as fast a leg speed as Lance? No, of course, he doesn't. But he's a genuinely cerebral quarterback, able to execute head coach Kyle Shanahan's game plan to perfection while boasting a better-than-expected arm and handling all the pressure that opposing defenses threw at him.
The end result? The only game Purdy lost is the NFC Championship game where he was knocked out at the very beginning of the game. The stats say it's a loss, reality says it doesn't count.
If you want evidence of what makes Purdy a potential franchise quarterback and not just a game manager that caught fire, take a look at a play that actually resulted in an incompletion:
The sheer poise to go through his reads, not panic, proceed to traverse the entire width of the field, do an avoidance move (not the first time he's done so), throw the ball knowing he's going to be hit and throwing a perfect dart in the corner only for wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk to drop what would have been the touchdown of the season.
I'm sorry, but game managers can't do that.
I know the Brock Purdy-Tom Brady comparisons are done to death, but they've been done to death for a reason. Do you think the New England Patriots regretted handing over the keys to the franchise to a late-round quarterback who impressed out of nowhere over the incumbent they had more invested in?
I feel for Lance, it's not his fault that events have run out the way they did and that there's a new favorite in town. Sports can be a cutthroat business, and his future may well be elsewhere.
But unless something spectacular happens in training camp, this is Purdy's team. That's how it is, and that's how it should be.