San Francisco 49ers linked with Andy Dalton amid latest Tom Brady rumor

The San Francisco 49ers will likely need to acquire a veteran quarterback early this offseason. The Athletic’s Matt Barrows and David Lombardi have someone in mind.

For a piece released Thursday, Barrows and Lombardi linked with 49ers with former Cincinnati Bengals starter Andy Dalton.

“Dalton has started 166 games in his career,” Barrows explained, adding that the 35-year-old “won’t stress the salary cap of the 49ers” and “would take a backseat to San Francisco’s youngsters.” According to the article, San Francisco “looked at Dalton during the 2021 free agency period.”

There’s a lot to unpack.

This update reveals that the relationship between the 49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo has indeed gone “south,” perhaps due to Garoppolo’s unwillingness to “take a backseat” to unproven first-round draft pick Trey Lance of 2021. For comparison, Dalton has held backup duties with the Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, and New Orleans Saints since the 2020 season.

2022 rookie sensation Brock Purdy was scheduled to undergo surgery this week to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, which he sustained in the NFC Championship game. That procedure has been postponed “due to persistent inflammation” in the elbow, and Purdy will not be reevaluated until March 1 at the earliest. A six-month rebound would likely sideline Purdy for at least the early stages of the 2023 season.

Lance, meanwhile, has attempted just 102 regular-season passes at the highest level and has required multiple surgeries to repair the serious ankle injury he sustained last September. The 22-year-old is hardly a sure thing for a team that has had back-to-back NFC Championship Game appearances.

Barrows and Lombardi also named Jacoby Brissett, Teddy Bridgewater and Taylor Heinicke as possible options for the 49ers. For what it’s worth, Brissett impressed heavily during his 11 starts with the Cleveland Browns in 2022 and could be looking to become an interim QB1 for a team looking for a bridge-signal caller this offseason.

Perhaps most interesting about this update is that it was shared on the same day that Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio revived a rumor that the 49ers may be after Tom Brady. Brady obviously wouldn’t “take a backseat” to any quarterback, but The Athletic’s article suggests head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch are ready to head into spring training with Lance at the top of the depth chart.


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