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Sam Darnold To The 49ers And The Fascinating Intrigue

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Sam Darnold to the San Francisco 49ers has continued to be mentioned and spoken about by league experts. Yet there have no been moves made by the San Francisco 49ers or the New York Jets when it comes to Darnold. New York finds itself in a rather strong position heading into the 2021 NFL Draft. They have a former first-round pick on the books and they have the second pick in the upcoming draft. This makes Sam Darnold to the 49ers a likely possibility.

With the second pick overall, they are more than likely going to select Zach Wilson from BYU. A generational talent that many experts have rated as highly as Trevor Lawrence. What does this mean for the Sam Darnold to the 49ers rumors? Well, Sam Darnold has never settled in New York and quite frankly hasn’t been supported. He is still very talented and in the right system, with the right support, there is no reason why he can’t succeed.

San Francisco could be the ideal spot for Sam Darnold. A strong offense, a defense capable of getting the ball back for the offense, and perhaps most importantly, Kyle Shanahan. Shanahan is a mastermind of a head coach and with him coming up with play calls for Darnold. The Sam Darnold to the 49er’s idea might just be a great one.

Sam Darnold To The 49ers

The Benefits

Sam Darnold is a good quarterback. In his rookie season in New York, he had a defensive-minded head coach and a poor offensive coordinator. He had no real talent on the field with him and it showed. He threw almost as many interceptions as touchdowns and the Jets fell to a 4-12 record. But it was Sam Darnold who led them to the four wins. 

In 2019, Darnold finally had some weapons on the offensive side of the ball. LeVeon Bell was brought in at running back and he had Robby Anderson, Jamison Crowder, and Demaryius Thomas at the receiver position. Darnold posted a rating of 84.3. With Darnold as the starter the Jets went 7-6, still not a great record, but an improvement on the previous season. Sam Darnold, like all quarterbacks, is better with weapons around him. San Francisco has those weapons.

Another huge tick in the positives about Sam Darnold to the 49ers column is the fact that he is cheap. Jimmy Garoppolo is set to cost over 26 million dollars against the cap. Sam Darnold would cost about five million dollars. If the 49ers can find someone to trade Jimmy Garoppolo to, they would save about 23 million dollars against the cap. 23 million dollars that they can use in other areas. Another benefit for Sam Darnold to the 49ers.

San Francisco was in the Super Bowl after the 2019 season. The 2020 season was ruined by injury. The 49ers are not far away from competing for the NFC Championship. Saying that Sam Darnold is the man to lead them there is a bold take but the opportunities that Sam Darnold to the 49ers creates makes them a threat in the NFC for the 2021 season. 

Making It Happen

So how would Sam Darnold to the 49ers work out? Firstly, the 49ers will more than likely have to give up a second or maybe third-round pick for Sam Darnold. The Jets will not let their former first-round pick go lightly. Even if they draft another quarterback this year they will be in no rush to get rid of Darnold. It’s not like he is costing them a lot of money. So a second or third will likely be the lowest he would go for.

They will however be able to get most of that back for Jimmy Garoppolo. Given the cost of his contract, it will probably be a third at most. If they can negotiate and get Darnold on the cheap then it could be a straight replacement for their starting Quarterback.

Sam Darnold To The 49ers

The Negatives

Sam Darnold has definitely been the victim of poor coaching and a lack of weapons but he has his own flaws as well. In terms of his physical stats and build, he is a brilliant quarterback. He has good size, is very athletic, and has a fantastic arm. Before any game, he is one of the best quarterbacks. The problem happens when the game starts. There is a reason for concern for San Francisco fans, as Sam Darnold to the 49ers doesn’t guarantee success.

Since he came into the league Darnold has shown flashes of his ability. But only flashes. Unfortunately, we have seen more of the negatives than the positives. One of the biggest flaws of Darnold’s NFL tenure is his inability to find the open read.

Sam Darnold to the 49ers
Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass during the first half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Watching him for the past few seasons he has become far too accustomed to checking the ball down to his safety blanket or making his decision before the play has even begun. He will lock onto his receiver early and forget about the two or three others that are running routes as well.

For me, this isn’t entirely Darnolds fault. It is partly on him, but a lot of it also comes down to the fact that he doesn’t have plenty of weapons out there in New York. If I was Darnold and had one solid receiver to throw to I would probably lock on to him early and wait for him to try and be open.

It’s a flaw yes, but it’s a flaw that can easily be rectified. In San Francisco, he would have the second-best tight end in the league in George Kittle. He would have Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk running routes and he would have one of the best running back rooms in the league. This is why Sam Darnold to the 49ers makes sense.

A bigger worry is his inability at picking up pressure whilst in the pocket. A trait that Jimmy Garoppolo also has. Again this could be down to the poor team that he is on, but this is a trait that is harder to correct. The failure to pick up pressure is terminal for a quarterback and he will need to work on that a lot this offseason.

Kyle Shanahan is the man to mentor him through this. Shanahan’s ability at dialing up plays and putting his team in the best possible position to succeed is why he will get the best out of Sam Darnold. 

So Is It A Good Or Bad Move?

Sam Darnold to the 49ers is good for all involved.

If the San Francisco 49ers can trade Jimmy Garoppolo and pick up some draft capital, then pulling the trigger on a trade for Sam Darnold is a good move. Darnold brings in raw quarterback abilities at a very cheap price. He has three years of experience in the league and with a solid coaching group behind him, plenty of weapons lining up alongside him he can get better and better. Sam Darnold to the 49ers would be a win for San Francisco.

As mentioned earlier, Sam Darnold is a good quarterback. He has his flaws, but who doesn’t? In this league the ability to put weapons all over the team is vital. Bringing in Sam Darnold at a low cost will allow the 49ers to bring in other players to get them in a position where they can get back to competing for Super Bowl. 

Thanks for reading my article on the possibility of Sam Darnold to the 49ersFor more NFL content, follow me on Twitter @Steelers_Mark and also follow @OTH_Football.

Main Image Credit

Sam Darnold to the 49ers
DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 10: Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets exits the field after the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. The Jets won 48 to 17 on September 10, 2018, in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Sam Darnold to the 49ers. Sam Darnold to the 49ers.

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