Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Insider mentions ex-QB worth $103m as 49ers backup opportunity

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That clearly wasn’t what the San Francisco 49ers had in mind when they went all-in against Trey Lance.

Replacing the No. 3 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft in just the second game of the 2022 season was nowhere in sight, not on anyone’s bingo card, whatever analogy one can think of. Especially for the man they handed the quarterback reins for a franchise that has a Super Bowl run in its sights.

But now Season 22 plans will have to move away from supplying the much-hyped sophomore QB as his ankle will force him to the sidelines for the remainder of the year, according to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter.

Now it’s Jimmy Garoppolo again who had 13-of-21 for 154 yards and two touchdowns (one with a QB sneak) in the 27-7 home win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Sept. 18. But behind Jimmy G? Only Brock Purdy, aka “Mr. Irrelevant” of the 2022 draft.

depth is required. There must be options. Interestingly, an NFL insider started revealing some potential names that could be in the mix. One of them? He happens to be a former $103 million quarterback… and a former NFL Most Valuable Player.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio immediately started dreaming up some names that could add some depth to the Santa Clara QB space.

A name he immediately ruled out? A popular former 49er who has spent the last six seasons trying to return to the league in Colin Kaepernick.

But the flashy name he mentioned? Still available free agent quarterback Cam Newton.

“Available free agents include Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick (we all know that doesn’t happen),” Florio mentioned as the first two names in his report.

So let’s dive into the possibility of Newton.

For starters, it has a nearly similar frame – Newton stands at 6ft 5 – as the 6ft 4 Lance. Newton has experience with read option plays throughout his time in the NFL, which means that if 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan wanted to keep some of the plays he created specifically for Lance on the running side, Newton would be the best Beneficiaries of these plays if Garoppolo would go down there.

Next, Newton, who was once paid $103.8 million annually by the Carolina Panthers, found himself on a similar offense to Shanahan’s: hit the ball with the barrel and then rely on short to medium throws. Even when Newton was at his best in the 2015 season (the year he received the league MVP honors), he was always backed by a 1,000-yard runner in Jonathan Stewart and Christian McCaffrey. So taking part in an offense with an emphasis on the running game is nothing new for Newton.

But there are aspects of Newton that might put the 49ers off.

For one thing, Newton was hit hard by his own injuries. Newton has not played a full regular season schedule since 2017, according to Pro Football Reference. And second, there’s his losing streak — he’s lost his last five NFL starts. And since leading the Panthers to their last postseason appearance in 2017, Newton has trailed center 13-23 overall.

Florio didn’t just reveal Newton as a possibility.

But alongside Kaepernick, there is another 49er who is considered ruled out.

“The 49ers can’t sign a quarterback from the Broncos practice team because they play Denver in six days. This keeps the 49ers from signing Josh Johnson (who has experience with the 49ers and most other teams really) until after next weekend. Johnson is a member of Denver’s training team,” Florio said.

Another name the 49ers could be chasing, according to Florio: Another ex-49er in Josh Rosen, who is currently on the Cleveland Browns practice team.

However, Newton officially has to be careful in the Bay Area.

But alongside Kaepernick, there is another 49er who is considered ruled out.

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