49ers not expected in Darnold trade mix, Rapoport claims

Darnold, Jets

The 49ers seemingly have been linked to every quarterback in the NFL this offseason, including New York Jets signal-caller Sam Darnold as a potential backup option behind presumed 2021 starter Jimmy Garoppolo. 

However, it appears San Francisco is out on Darnold now too.

NFL insider Ian Rapoport joined "The Murph and Mac Show" on KNBR on Friday where he said the 49ers are no longer expected to be in the mix for trading for Darnold, citing league sources.

"The response I've received on the Sam Darnold situation is, 'Do not expect the 49ers to be in it,' " Rapoport said (h/t 49ers Web Zone). "Maybe it could change, I guess. Theoretically, anything is possible.

"I do not expect the 49ers, as of my knowledge right now, to be in it. Could that change somehow? I don't see why, but possibly."

Previous speculation in the offseason had linked Darnold to San Francisco as a way to put pressure on Garoppolo coming into the 2021 season. Darnold, a former No. 3 overall draft pick, would've made sense logistically, especially given that the Jets new head coach is former 49ers' defensive coordinator Robert Saleh -- at least until factoring in the QB's rather lofty price. 

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Darnold is in his final year of his contract, and likely would cost at least a second-round draft pick at a minimum. While the 49ers seem committed in landing another viable backup option under center, giving up that for Darnold is a big ask.


Both head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch remain confident in Garoppolo as the team's starter heading into Week 1 next season, and the more quarterbacks come off the board, the higher the probability of that being the case. With NFL free agency set to open next week, it's clear things are just getting started. 

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