The 49ers' ever-evolving quarterback saga is about to get interesting yet again.
For the fourth consecutive offseason, the quarterback position will be a highly-discussed topic surrounding the 49ers.
San Francisco will head into the offseason with quarterbacks Brock Purdy and Trey Lance likely as the two starting options under center after the 49ers' heartbreaking 31-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game.
After Purdy's heroic rise from Mr. Irrelevant to NFL star, many believed the seventh-round pick was the clear favorite to start over Lance next season. However, after news broke Monday afternoon that Purdy suffered a complete tear of the UCL in his throwing elbow in Sunday's NFC title game and will require six months of recovery, the answer at quarterback has become murkier than ever for San Francisco.
The Athletic's Mike Sando spoke to one anonymous NFL executive, who made two bold predictions about how the 49ers will address the quarterback position this offseason.
“I think they will trade Trey Lance to Tennessee and then they will end up with [Tom] Brady and Brady will play one year for his home team, and they will have Brock Purdy as the backup,” an executive told The Athletic. “That is the chatter. They have the defense already, Brady wants to win one more, and this is right up the 49ers’ alley.”
Brady, who will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, likely will be connected to the 49ers for the third consecutive year.
The 49ers selected Lance with the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and sat the North Dakota State product behind veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for all but two games that season. Lance was named San Francisco's starter in 2022 before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks.
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Having made just four career starts, Lance still is an unproven quarterback and a question mark at a position for a team that is built to win now.
Should the 49ers, in the wake of Purdy's injury, Lance's uncertain future and Garoppolo likely signing elsewhere in free agency, decide to move in a different direction, Brady certainly could become a possibility, should he return for his 24th season.