An Illinois bettor is backing a very dark horse in the 49ers' quarterback competition.
The bettor on Tuesday placed a $1,000 bet with our partner PointsBet that neither Jimmy Garoppolo nor rookie QB Trey Lance will be the 49ers' starter in Week 1.
No, this anonymous gambler threw their money behind Josh Rosen.
They stand to take in a tidy sum if the former UCLA signal-caller wins the job. The bettor could win $33,000 according to The Action Network's Darren Rovell.
The 49ers re-signed Rosen this offseason after first signing him off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' practice squad late last season. The 2018 No. 10 overall pick didn't appear in a single game with the Niners in 2020. He's one of five quarterbacks participating in the 49ers' organized team activities (OTAs), along with Garoppolo, Lance, Josh Johnson and Nate Sudfeld.
Rosen doesn't have an inside track to make the team over Johnson and Sudfeld, let alone beat out Garoppolo and Lance, whom the 49ers traded four draft picks in order to move up and select in last month's draft. Sudfeld has a small guarantee ($252,000) in his contract, while the 49ers can cut Johnson and Rosen without penalty. Johnson also spent time on the 49ers' practice squad last season, so Rosen doesn't necessarily have a built-in advantage of experience in coach Kyle Shanahan's system.
The Arizona Cardinals traded up and selected Rosen No. 10 overall in the 2018 draft, but traded him to the Miami Dolphins a year later after picking quarterback Kyler Murray at No. 1. The Dolphins then waived Rosen ahead of the 2020 season, months after drafting another QB -- Tua Tagovailoa -- as the face of their franchise.
Rosen was an accomplished quarterback at UCLA, and he just turned 24 in February. If Rosen clicks in a QB-friendly system and stuns Shanahan into starting him under center, it wouldn't necessarily be the worst thing in the world for the 49ers.
Yet the vast majority of scenarios in which Rosen is the 49ers' Week 1 starter would spell nothing short of a catastrophic start to the season in Santa Clara. There's a reason the odds are long enough where this bettor can make a pretty penny.
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