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49ers, Brock Purdy should be ready to do a deal as soon as regular season ends

When discussing the ongoing parade of quarterback contracts, one name gets mentioned — even though it shouldn’t.

49ers quarterback Brock Purdy isn’t relevant to the discussion because, under the 2011 CBA, the 49ers can’t give him a new deal until the completion of his third season. (Hopefully, folks will keep that in mind before creating the impression that San Francisco is being cheap by paying him only $985,000 this season.)

That said, there’s a win-win strategy that both the team and the player should pursue. They should be negotiating a deal with the deadline of getting something done before the first postseason game of the 2024 season — assuming the 49ers qualify.

The language of the labor deal opens the window for a second contract upon completion of the player’s third regular season. Why shouldn’t the player want his deal as soon as he can get it, given the risk of postseason injury? (Purdy knows that risk well, from the 2022 NFC Championship.) The 49ers should want to do it, too, because it will never get cheaper than it will be as soon as the regular season ends.

It might actually be a little cheaper, since Purdy might be inclined to take a little less in order to get his financial security before the playoffs start.

No one has moved so quickly since the rule changed from two years for drafted players to three. But Purdy deserves it. As the last pick in the 2022 draft, he was one selection away from being an undrafted free agent. If he hadn’t been picked, he would have been eligible for a second deal after two years.

Again, this isn’t just about Purdy making a power play, because it’s not like he’d hold out for a playoff game. This is about the 49ers being proactive. As we’ve seen this year, delay results in the price going up. There’s wisdom in moving before the market does. And there’s an extra bit of genius that comes from getting a player’s deal done while he’s still carrying the financial risk that comes from the lowest slotted deal of his draft class.

Nothing prevents the two sides from lining up the terms before the end of the regular season. They could basically agree on it now informally and sign it the moment the 2024 season ends. For both sides, it would be smart to do it.