IN SANTA CLARA--- In private, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told GM John Lynch something he thought would stay for a while. In the early days of training camp leading up to the 2022 NFL season, the 49ers were planning to start Trey Lance at quarterback and backup veteran Nate Sudfeld.
Nevertheless, Shanahan rethought the team's depth chart after seeing enough in Brock Purdy—the last choice of that year's draft—to cause him to do so. Shanahan had high hopes for Purdy, thinking he was going to emerge as the 49ers' top quarterback.
On Thursday, CEO Jed York recounted the incident in which Shanahan surprised him by predicting that the obscure Purdy would become the 49ers starting quarterback. Lynch stated on Friday, "I was there when he told Jed that."... My mouth dropped open. "He informed me of that, but... Kyle frequently consults me to determine the veracity of his ideas
While veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was undergoing physical rehabilitation for shoulder surgery that he had done in the summer, the coach promptly informed upper management of the situation. Prior to the start of the regular season, the 49ers were determined to trade Garoppolo.
While the 49ers kept Garoppolo on a much reduced deal, Purdy beat out Sudfeld for a roster place. After Lance, the third overall choice in the 2021 NFL Draft, started the season as the team's starting quarterback, Garoppolo was ranked second. It was widely believed that Purdy may get an opportunity to stay on the 49ers' practice squad. According to Shanahan's first findings, though, the 49ers would never risk letting Purdy go free.
While speaking, Lynch mentioned that she and Kyle had been in communication. Brock was always a favorite of ours. However, our encounters with him were rather limited. So, I believe we had an inkling that something extraordinary may happen, and Kyle is about as forthright as they come. Because he leaves no room for interpretation, he is a pleasure to work with.
Because of injuries to Garoppolo and Lance, Purdy had an opportunity to play. And Purdy's performance upon returning to the lineup was sufficient to secure his position as the starting quarterback going forward. In little under two years, Purdy has established himself as the starting quarterback for the 49ers and will captain the team to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas on February 11th against the Kansas City Chiefs.
After leading the league with a passer rating of 113.0, Purdy was selected as the starting quarterback for the NFC Pro Bowl and was also named a finalist for NFL MVP honors.
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