The San Francisco 49ers quarterback room looks much different than it did a year ago. With the departure of Jimmy Garoppolo and both Trey Lance and Brock Purdy still working their way back from injury, the 49ers braintrust opted to bring in a veteran reinforcement to the team, signing quarterback Sam Darnold to a one-year deal on Thursday. He reunites with former Carolina Panthers teammate and current 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey who was acquired via trade in Week 7 of the 2022 season.
Darnold was a former first-round pick by the New York Jets in the 2018 NFL Draft and spent the last two seasons with the Panthers. He made six starts for Carolina in 2022 connecting on 82-of-140 pass attempts for 1,143 yards, seven touchdowns, three interceptions and a 92.6 passer rating. He also added 26 carries for 106 yards and two scores on the ground.
2022 Season Highlights and Career Notes
- The quarterback started the last six games of the regular season, going 4-2 after being activated off the Injured Reserve list.
- In 2021, Darnold made 11 starts for the Panthers and averaged 210.6 passing yards per game.
- His 300-plus yard performances in Weeks 2, 3 and 4 of the 2021 season earned him a place in the Panther's franchise history books, becoming Carolina's first quarterback to post three-consecutive 300-yard passing performances.
- During the 2021 season, Darnold finished tied for fourth amongst all quarterbacks with five rushing touchdowns.
- As a rookie with the New York Jets, Darnold set a franchise record for highest passer rating by a rookie (77.6) and at 21 years old, he was the youngest quarterback to start a season opener since the NFL merger in 1970.