Representatives from the San Francisco 49ers along with the other 31 NFL clubs are spending some time down in Phoenix, Arizona this week for the NFL Annual League Meeting. The event runs from March 26 to March 29 and brings together NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, league officials and teams' high-ranking front office staff to discuss and vote on action items for the 2023 season.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan is among the 49ers brass attending the four-day event and, on Tuesday morning, spoke with the media to share important updates about the team.
Here are four takeaways from Shanahan's offseason address:
Both Trey Lance and Sam Darnold are expected to take first team reps during the 49ers offseason programming.
The first day of Phase 1 of San Francisco's offseason schedule begins on April 17 and will be followed up by 10 days of organized team activities throughout the months of May and June. Per Shanahan, the expectation is for Lance and Darnold to split first-team reps during early offseason workouts. Lance is still in the midst of his rehab work on an ankle injury he suffered in Week 2 of the 2022 season but is expected to be cleared in time to participate in the team's offseason programming. As it stands, the newly acquired Darnold is the only fully healthy quarterback on the 49ers roster.
"I like to see them in Phase 1. I want to see how they come in," Shanahan said. "We get to go on the field with them in Phase 2. In OTAs, I expect them both to work with the first-team, but we'll see how that goes."
Lance is making good progress through his rehab program.
Lance has been making his rounds in Santa Clara, and according to the 49ers head coach, also working with quarterback coaches outside of the building as part of his rehab work. The 49ers former first-round pick has battled through a couple ankle surgeries during his recovery process and is now in the thick of a throwing program. With no starting quarterback currently named, Lance has an opportunity to prove his abilities, once medically cleared, during offseason programming.
"Trey is just excited to be healthy and excited to come in and get those reps and show us what he can do," Shanahan said.
The 49ers place a lot of importance on the defensive front, and as a result, opted to go after Javon Hargrave early in free agency.
San Francisco came away with the title of No. 1 overall defense in 2022, and Shanahan believes that the team's success hinges on having a dominant defensive front. To bolster the interior of that defensive line, the 49ers made a big move to sign former Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle, Javon Hargrave, who is fresh off a Super Bowl LVII appearance and a career-best season in sacks (11.0).
"Our goal since we got here was to always build the D-line and for that always to be the strength," Shanahan said. "We do feel like we have a very good D-line, but going back to 2019, having all four of those guys, I feel we had the best in the league by far that year... Our goal is to always make our D-line as good as we can. That's why we targeted Javon right away, and we feel very fortunate to get him."
Shanahan has been in communication with Purdy post-surgery.
Per Shanahan, Purdy is in good spirits now that his elbow repair procedure is behind him. His surgery was initially delayed due to swelling and inflation in the arm but was finally able to be completed in early March. Early reports from general manager John Lynch indicated that Purdy has begun rehab that involves simple range of motion exercises.
The 49ers head coach anticipates that Purdy will return to The Bay for at least a portion of his recovery.
"We start Phase 1 (April 17), so I expect everyone back at that time," Shanahan said. "I think he'll do his rehab down here (Arizona), and I'm sure he will move it to us."
The head coach reiterated the same info on a recovery timeline shared by Lynch on Monday. At the three month mark, the team should have a clearer timetable for Purdy's return.